Cisco’s Winning Formula Isn’t Changing
Over the last few days, the media has drawn attention to last month’s Cisco Partner Summit and a few candid remarks expressed by colleagues during the event. As these articles seem to suggest a change in Cisco’s channel strategy, I wanted to take a few moments to clear up any confusion, and to reaffirm our commitment to Cisco’s winning formula. First, since we pioneered the value-based channel strategy in 2001, Cisco’s focus has been–and will continue to be–to deliver maximum value and innovation to our customers through profitable, long-term relationships with our partners. This will not change. Second, our partners embrace the value-based approach. Today, both partner satisfaction with Cisco and customer satisfaction with our partners are at all-time highs. By knowing they will be rewarded for the value they deliver to the customers, not the volume they deliver to the vendor, our partners have the confidence to build their businesses around solving customers’ toughest issues and addressing their greatest opportunities.Over the years, that value-based approach has been absolutely critical to enabling our partners to lead Cisco into a half-dozen new markets, including enterprise voice, digital video, and security. The fact that we have achieved the position of the #1 or #2 player in all of those adjacencies underscores the success of this approach. It won’t come as any surprise that the value-based approach is also central to our moves into 30 new adjacencies, including the data center, collaboration, and energy-efficient network design.So if “value” remains our focus, what did we mean by “Refuse to Lose”? We recognize that in this challenging economic environment it’s more important than ever that we help our customers realize the value from their IT investment. And at Cisco Partner Summit, we candidly discussed our passion to work with our partners to meet the challenge of competition from price and volume-driven vendors.And what did we focus on? Value. We talked about the need to work more effectively with our partners to ensure that we bring together all of the various elements that Cisco can bring to the table to win deals and solve customer problems. We told our partners that together we should “refuse to lose,” but let me be clear: this does not mean that we will change our winning formula. We will be sensitive to price, but we will compete through value.