Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > SP360: Service Provider

Key to Service Provider Success: Transformation Through Innovation

kelly“We are going through unprecedented change in the service provider industry – and it’s increasingly becoming a mobile and cloud-based world, with competition around every corner,” Kelly Ahuja, senior vice president of Cisco’s service provider business, told 70 international journalists during Cisco’s third annual Global Editors Conference in downtown San Jose earlier this week.

“Change is the lone constant,” he continued, “with several major trends driving dramatic impact on every player in the industry.”

Ahuja then chronicled several trends impacting the industry. The world has gone mobile, forever altering customer expectations and the rise in cloud computing is dramatically transforming telecom infrastructures, he noted. Also, he said machine-to-machine Internet of Everything (IoE) experiences are at the cusp of wide-scale proliferation in many markets and video continues to drive global IP traffic growth at a clip of 23 percent global CAGR.

Three Keys to Success: Increase Revenue, Reduce Opex, Enhance Service Agility

Each service provider faces unique geographic and competitive challenges, but according to Ahuja, they are all looking for three things from their technology solutions. “Operators want to improve their top lines,” he said. “They also need to reduce their spending, particularly Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Cisco CMX @ NRF 2014

NRF1

NRF 2014 was held last week at the Javits Centre in New York City. It’s the biggest retail event of the year where vendors show off the future of the industry to all the delegates both using inspiring key notes and exciting demos on the Expo floors.

2014 and beyond:

It wasn’t too hard to identify that there were some common themes. On Tuesday afternoon I stood on the main Expo floor and just looking around I could quickly see the industry’s top of mind phrases and buzz words popping out:

“Omni channel”,”Onmianalytics”, “Predictive”, “Insights”, “Customer science and Analytics”, “Precise Location Matters”, “Analyze Decide”, “Mobilize”, “Mobility solutions”, “Big data”, “Customer engagement”, “Adaptive offers”, “Personalized customer experience”, “Customer Experience Analytics”

We certainly are entering the era where using data, analytics and personalization is no longer just an interesting notion or “nice to have” for retail -- it is now the KEY thing companies MUST do.

And a big common theme is that mobile is exploding and changing things rapidly, so retailers either need to keep up or inevitably fall behind their competitors. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Revenue-Generation Marketing: The Proof is in the Pipeline

November 14, 2013 at 9:47 am PST

“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” -- Winston Churchill

In a recent blog, I scratched the surface of revenue-generation marketing and how we’re transforming marketing from a cost center to a revenue generating center within Cisco. This week, I want to dig a little deeper.

Marketing that contributes measurable ROI to the bottom line… that sounds great, right? But how do you get there? The core of revenue-generation marketing and what makes it work is the partnership between sales and marketing. And, the first step of revenue-generation marketing is alignment of the revenue-generation marketing plan with the overall business plan for the company. Without that, the whole revenue-generation marketing process, from executing to managing the funnel with account teams and having regular funnel management business reviews, won’t work. You have to execute against the priorities of the business overall.

As marketing organizations transition into a revenue generators, an almost natural shift happens. Marketing begins speaking the language of the business and sales. We talk about planning, forecast, pipeline, bookings and revenue. Marketing hasn’t historically done that, so there’s another evolution occurring in the industry.

From a sales and marketing revenue alignment perspective, you obviously want to align on priorities with sales. But at the end of the day, what makes the marketing plan a revenue-generation marketing plan is the fact that a revenue contribution target is set, either focused on pipeline or bookings and revenue. That target is usually set or communicated as a percentage of sales. According to Sirius Decisions, the industry standard for business to business (B2B), high-tech marketing contribution-to-revenue baselines is that >$5 billion companies source less than 10 percent of sales pipeline, with high of 20 percent and a low of 2 percent of sales pipeline. The industry standard provides a baseline of where you want to be. At that point, you need to realistically evaluate where you are – your run rate and marketing’s current contribution to revenue.

Beyond run rate, there are only three levers for driving this plan: volume, visibility, and conversion rate. What volume of leads are you driving; how much of that is visibly available and reportable in your sales force or customer relationship management systems; and how much of that is being accepted and converted by the sales team into the pipeline or revenue?

Now we’re humming along. We’re aligned. We’re speaking the language. We’ve set our contribution revenue target based on industry standards. The “Rocky” theme song splits the air, and we’re on top of the world. Well, not quite yet. Now that we’ve taken a look at our plan from a top-down perspective, it’s time to reverse engineer the demand waterfall to determine if the revenue contribution target is realistic. By calculating the amount you need in sales all the way back to how many leads you’re going to have to source to reach that number, the bottom-up piece meets the top-down piece, and you can adjust your revenue contribution goal based on if you have the budget and resources to meet that number.

As you know, that number at Cisco is $1 billion worth of qualified leads in midmarket for partners this fiscal year. We’re here to help you position your business for success, and I’d love to hear your perspectives in the comments section or via twitter @sherriliebo.

Tags: , , , , ,

Marketing: A Revenue Generator

October 24, 2013 at 7:08 am PST

It’s an exhilarating time to be in marketing. Here at Cisco, we’re on the precipice of transforming marketing from what has often been seen as a cost center into a revenue generating center. And, we’re taking our partners with us on this journey.

By now, you’ve probably heard the term “revenue marketing.” It’s a somewhat new phrase, but its implications will change the face of marketing forever. In a nutshell, revenue marketing means that marketing strategies and campaigns align with sales and business objectives to generate a measurable ROI to the bottom line. Now that is pulling up a seat to the table.

There are some fascinating trends today contributing to this seachange. The business to business (B2B) buying behavior has changed, and roughly 70 percent of the B2B buying process happens before sales even makes contact with the customer. That digital buying journey data can be integrated with customer relationship management (CRM) for amazing insight and the ability to connect with our customers throughout their purchasing journey. Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Location Based Analytics and Services – Retail – What are the practical uses?

Nobody can question that location-based services are hot these days--especially in the retail space.

Retail in general is under increasing competition and pressure to maintain its revenues and profitability, especially physical retailers who are threatened by online businesses, ranging from one person outfits to global giants.

Physical retailers big and small are all facing the same phenomenon: smartphone users walking around their stores (inside and out). Google and Nielson recently reported that shopping queries are two times as likely to be in store. So people are actively on their smartphones in stores. The significance of this statistic to retail is that there is a huge opportunity here to optimize dollars, be it marketing funds or operational savings–all of which can be enabled by location-based services.

iStock retail

Cisco’s location based services using the Mobility Services Engine and the Connected Mobile Experiences solutions is market leading and generates a lot of interest among customers and I get the privilege of speaking with many retail business executives on a global basis.

In retail, the two big rocks are revenue and loyalty.  The Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution helps line of business leaders reach those goals by aligning with the mobility trend. Armed with the location-based services of CMX, you can captivate your customers by creating personalized, context-based engagement to boost loyalty, while generating location analytics data on customer movement patterns and behavior for optimizing operational costs. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,