2021 was a stage win
To say it’s been a crazy year is an understatement. Between the off-again/on-again pandemic, including home office, return to office and now hybrid work, and the global supply chain impacting virtually every industry, we have been tested in many ways we never expected nor imagined in both our personal and business lives. Add to this an ever-evolving list of new customer requirements fueled by digital transformation goals embraced by every industry and segment, it’s no wonder 2021 was like no other. Yet through it all, we’ve managed to grow stronger and more resilient. I’m not ready to declare an all-out victory, but in conversations I’ve had with many of you and our customers, it’s clear there’s something special we achieved together. In the past year, we clearly had a “stage win,” which is a successful milestone along the way to the end goal of a longer race.
Headwinds, no matter their shape and scope, will always be a factor in business. But it’s partnerships like ours that help us find ways to overcome headwinds and reach even higher. If 2021 is any indication, 2022 will continue to be challenging – at least in the beginning. But at the same time, it also marks a period of potential growth, profitability, and an opportunity to reach higher.
Our opportunity is enormous
While still very challenging, I’m confident the disruptions and changes caused by the pandemic and supply chain will create more opportunities that erase any setbacks they created. Hybrid work is a prime example. Our role in supporting customers’ needs around this has only just begun as companies around the world redraw the lines of how and where their employees work. They will rely on Cisco and our partners for the underlying technology, security and services that bring it all together. The same can be said of the new ways customers are buying and consuming our solutions as we continue to meet their needs with more XaaS offers and managed services. Add to this the new buyers who are coming into focus as a result, plus the opportunity to capture allocated budgets on fast-growing cloud marketplaces, and you quickly realize there’s significant tailwinds working to our advantage. In short, our opportunity is enormous.
Creating a positive impact
The coming year also marks our responsibility to be bolder and drive more positive social and environmental impact. The pandemic, for example, brought into clear focus our society’s vulnerability to hunger and homelessness. Similarly, the natural disasters we saw in 2021 reflect an urgent need to minimize climate change. We’ve already done a lot, but together we learned through the last year there is more we can and must do. At Partner Summit, we announced The Digital Sustainability Challenge that invites partners to submit your Cisco-powered solutions that produce sustainable outcomes, such as a smart building solution that reduces energy consumption or a sensor grid that reduces waste. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how we can, together, make an even greater impact in 2022.
Our commitment to our partners remains
At Partner Summit, I shared our four promises: Trust, Innovation, Choice and Profitability. No matter the business climate – headwinds or tailwinds – these partner promises are what guide everything we do to support you. So, as you wind down for the holidays and take a deep breath going into 2022, know that I and the entire Cisco family stand with you.
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!
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