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Partner Voices: CDW on Driving Solution Adoption across Your Practice

February 18, 2014 at 9:57 am PST

As part of our ongoing Partner Voices blog series, I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Yvonne LeNoue of CDW regarding her blog, “Top 5 Areas of Focus to Drive Solution Adoption across Your Contact Center Practice.” I invited her to expand a little more on those ideas for our Cisco partners and she kindly obliged.

Yvonne is a principal contact center consultant for CDW, and she has more than 20 years of experience in the contact center space. She has helped numerous organizations create and adopt solutions; her insights in this area are invaluable.

During our conversation, Yvonne emphasized that most technology implementations focus on a successful rollout of solutions, that is with  little-to-no customer impact, as customers seek a hefty return on investment based on the operational benefits that will be recognized through improved functionality and advanced technologies. The onus of success is typically placed on the technical teams of integrators and customers. Fortunately, in many cases, successful migrations are second nature. However, the thought of supporting the end users through the transition is rarely discussed.

Because so many organizations fail to engage the end users through their transitions, customers struggle to adopt new solutions and the business process enhancements that accompany new technologies. As you’ve likely experienced in your own businesses, organization leaders can experience frustration following technology implementations as employees revert to old processes and solutions. What’s more, lack of adoption can impact business value, and repeat sales and overall perception of project success. With this lack of adoption, Yvonne points out, no one wins; organizational operations remain stagnant, ROIs are not realized, vendors struggle to drive interest in future technologies and end users feel isolated. Simply delivering solutions and products does not ensure solution adoption and no longer guarantees customer satisfaction. Read More »

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Marketing Insights on Revenue Generation, Buying Patterns, and the Role of Social

Revenue-generating marketing, customer buying patterns, and social selling are a few of the topics I talked about recently with Glenn Gow of Crimson Marketing.  I’m pleased to share these excerpts from our conversation and invite you to listen to the podcast.

Glenn: Why don’t we start with this concept of revenue-generating marketing, and tell us a little bit about the journey that you’ve been going through. 

Karen:  I wanted marketing to be viewed as a revenue center versus a cost center, because then it becomes a very different discussion about the value, the role of marketing, and the investment that a company is willing to make.And frankly, in some cases, marketing should be seen as a cost-to-serve model in terms of where marketing can lead the generation of demand, particularly with customers in the mid-market and with our partners.

Glenn: Can you talk a little bit more about what revenue-generating marketing really means? Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – February 14, 2014

February 14, 2014 at 6:44 am PST

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

Bruce Klein offered us his thoughts on the Internet of Everything (IoE) opportunity and how Cisco’s evolution of its partner ecosystem supports “connecting the unconnected.”

With a look back at John Chambers’ keynote at CES 2014 in January, and some great examples of using Cisco technology to change the conversation with your clients, Bruce provided fabulous insight on how partners can claim their share of the IoE opportunity just by taking a different approach.

Be sure to take a look at Bruce’s blog and join the conversation on IoE. Read More »

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Software-Enabled Services Create Lucrative New Partner Opportunities

When I meet with partners around the globe, I hear a steady drum beat that sounds like this: Customers are shifting their focus from “make my network work” to “give me operational outcomes.” This is a clear sign that customers are moving from an IT-centric view of networking to a business-centric view of the value that networking enables. In short, customers now expect services tied to business outcomes.

This is good news for several reasons. First, this outcomes-based market is much bigger than the support market. Second, services delivery will increasingly rely on centralized, non-labor-based tools and assets. (My boss likes to remind customers that we can no longer service a car without software.) What do these changes mean for those of us in services? The answer is clear: From here on, success in network life cycle services will require tools, resources, and intellectual capital-based assets.  And I assure you that there are many lucrative services opportunities worth exploring. This is especially true for those of you willing to expand your services practice with software-enabled services. – which is exactly what I want to take up in this second installment of my blog series. Read More »

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Internet of Everything Opportunity is there for our Partners

Those of you that attended the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show last month heard Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers’ keynote address discussing the potential $19 trillion opportunity in the Internet of Everything (IoE). John even mentioned that the combined value of the opportunity might be conservative. (If you missed John’s speech you should definitely check out the highlights.)

John talked about “connecting the unconnected” and that this area is where our Partner Ecosystem has to be ready to do some serious work. We know we have to evolve with you and make sure we are all prepared to tackle that $19 trillion opportunity that is out there.

There is real value in our partner ecosystem and in connecting partners with each other. We will certainly be talking about this more and more as we move further into 2014, especially with such a large focus on IoE. Read More »

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