A couple of items come to mind as we publish this blog on the last day of September.

First, it marks the end of the United States federal buying season. A time of utmost importance to many of our Federal partners in the United States, as well as Cisco.

Second, many of our partners run their businesses on Calendar Fiscal Years, so tomorrow starts the all-important Q4 stretch run.

When it comes to the culmination of the federal buying season, August and September account for nearly half of all federal revenues for Cisco and our partners.  The amount of effort, commitment and dedication from our distributors and technology integrator partners is awe-inspiring at this time of year.  Long days, longer nights, working weekends… this is business as usual for our Federal teams and the technology integrator partners we work with in the month of September.

It’s exciting to see how our channel partners and Cisco teams come together to drive an enormous amount of business in a highly complex environment with customers that are dealing in critical matters – from the health and welfare of citizens to national and global security.  Our partners deserve a huge thank you for their diligence and hard work in this complicated, high stakes theater – so we say a big THANK YOU!

And again, while the end of September marks the end of our Federal buying season, it also marks the beginning of the all-important Q4 for so many of our partners. Just as our partners show a level of commitment to Cisco’s fiscal year end in July that is truly humbling, we are looking to return that favor.  We realize that our partners are no different in the sense that Q4 is often a make or break time when the magic really must happen.

During times like these, I can’t help but think about the strength of our channel partners and what exceptionally mutually beneficial relationships we have together.  It’s exciting for me to work in this partner organization because we take pride in pulling together all the resources that sit within such a large organization as Cisco – all for the benefit of our solution provider partners and our shared customers.

A great example of how we marshal our resources to benefit our partners is shared in the video below that captures some of our “secret sauce” in the Americas Partner Organization. One of our veteran engineering leaders, Dan Burns, has formalized his pathway to success with his regional System Engineer Interlocks.

Much like sales teams sync up periodically to coordinate selling motions to be win together in the field, our engineers do the same to foster collaboration amongst their ranks. That sort of work that takes place day in and day out across the Americas throughout the course of the year, ends up benefitting our partners when it gets down to crunch time.  The work to build trust and meaningful relationships with our Field Sales teams and our Partners is often the key to speeding up deal cycles or expanding opportunities so that our solution providers can finish their years off as strongly as possible.

I think that video demonstrates how the strength of our channel is derived from guys like Dan & his team doing the hard work every day to really walk the walk when it comes to truly being a good partner.

We’ve been partner led for 20 years and are incredibly lucky to have tens of thousands of channel sellers positioning Cisco across the region alongside our own sales teams.  This is the multiplier effect, and it’s no wonder that our channel partners are responsible for about 95% of all bookings in the Americas.

We want our partners to know how valuable you are. We don’t take these relationships for granted, and we are constantly trying to provide the resources and support you need and deserve, as the best advocates for Cisco that we have.

For those partners heading into the final quarter of their fiscal year, we wish you good luck… but more importantly – we got your back.  We are ready to weather the storm with you and close your fiscals strong, just as you have done with us time and time again.

Let’s do it!


Michael Hopfinger

Director of Marketing

Architecture and Partner Marketing - Americas