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Hello there. Andrew Sage here, welcoming our Distributors and 2T partners to 2021.

Over a long year ago, when we began 2020, I resolved to help our distis and partners meet our mutual goals, and I asked all of you to help our customers grow and prosper. At that time, none of us knew how complex that would turn out to be. We’re already in the second month of a new calendar year, and already I feel we have come a long way.  As you may have heard on our Q2 earnings call, the core customers of our Distributors and 2T partners – Commercial and Public Sector – are primary growth drivers at Cisco.

I’m opening this year with more emphasis on trust, as I closed last year. For years, we in the tech industries have been talking about being a “trusted advisor”, and now it’s more important than ever. This past year, finding ways to be a trusted partner to our customers was almost the only thing that mattered.

Yes, it’s important that we meet our revenue goals – very important.  But this past year taught me to focus much more on bigger goals like our mission of building a more inclusive future for all – what are our businesses all about?  Every day, technology becomes more accessible to more businesses, and it benefits more people.

Here are some of the areas that we will be focusing on with you in the coming months:

  • Secure remote work. Keep people safe, keep the world safe. We were key players in that goal because we had the technology, and working together, we provided the innovation that was needed for the time. Soon, customers will be returning to the office or moving to a hybrid model. Our opportunity is to help them be ready to take the next safe step in the return to normalcy – in a new hybrid work world.
  • Customer Experience & Lifecycle Management. This is the heart of being a trusted advisor, making a customer a partner, anticipating their needs, working with them over the long and changing haul. There is no such thing as overnight success. Success is managed. I’m proud to see our distributors investing in the CX Specialization, and helping 2T partners get there quickly.  Great start – time to ramp it up!
  • Managed services. Customers can’t do everything themselves. It is clearer than ever how much we all need each other. I bet your customers would hug you – if they could – to have you as their trusted advisor dedicated to their success. Meraki, security, collaboration are all key technologies for our most successful MSPs.  This business is growing quickly, and is an investment area for Cisco, so the sky’s the limit.
  • Renewals, renewals, renewals. We’re doing well at renewing business. The renewals engines are operating and working well. This is our future, so keep it up. We will build on our success in service renewals, and put energy into software annuity renewals going forward, and of course on further automation so we scale efficiently.
  • Last month, I described the opportunity for us all that SaaS and Cloud offer in the democratization of technology. You are driving triple digit growth here, and we’re working hard to make it easier as you scale, through automation across quote, order, provision and invoice.

The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus for whom the month of January was named. Many of you probably know that Janus is the two-faced god, one face looking back at the past, one looking forward to the future. The Romans considered him the god of beginnings and transitions. How appropriate for us today, as we look forward to more challenges, but we can also look back with some pride at how well we met our challenges over the past year. We helped our customers, our partners, and each other because we reached deep inside ourselves and found an abiding trust in our relationships with each other. We proved ourselves trust-worthy.

So, as we look back at 2020, be proud of yourselves. We didn’t let our customers down and we didn’t let each other down. I am proud of the work we did together.

All of us at Cisco look forward to being your trusted partners in 2021.  Good selling,

Andrew



Authors

Andrew Sage

Vice President

Global Distribution & Small Business Sales