Last week at Cisco Live in Orlando, I had the pleasure of hosting my first Partner Xperience – three days of ecosystem partners, reseller partners and Cisco leaders networking and discussing ways to accelerate and enable growth for each other and our mutual customers.
Before I get into some of my top takeaways from the Partner Xperience, I want to thank all the various types of Cisco partners that turned out and contributed to a fantastic discussion and extremely valuable week, as well as those who contributed to the conversation via social.
Also, here’s a great recap through the lens of Cisco’s APO (Americas Partner Organization) lead, Rick Snyder.
In talking with our partners, customers and Cisco colleagues throughout the week about how we all can be more successful and profitable, there were a few themes that rose above all else for me.
Industry and vertical approach
There were many impactful discussions and sessions over the three days in Orlando. These were often intentionally focused on multi-partner engagements within vertical and industry solutions. Digitization is forcing Cisco, partners and customers to change how they do business.
You will continue to see Cisco and APO focus on delivering an industry-specific strategy with our partner ecosystem to capitalize on disruption within digital transformation. But for now, partners should be looking to see how they can transform to be industry experts with the help of other partner types.
Digital transformation is happening now with every customer
1 million devices are expected to become connected EVERY HOUR by 2020. And, from just a security standpoint, 80% of all traffic is becoming encrypted. Clearly, the speed of business and pace of innovation is happening at an unprecedented pace.
At the same time, customers want to connect their investments to business outcomes that ultimately deliver an exceptional end-customer experience.
These two postulates, the pace of innovation and customer demand for business outcomes, create a massive opportunity for our partners and Cisco, a company with a strong partner organization, robust ecosystem and consistent approach.
Consistency and monetizing simplicity
In speaking with our partners, it’s clear they appreciate our world-class partner organization and the consistent approach we have with them and our customers.
For organizations that need to transform quickly, like all of us, consistency can be an important factor as well the platform to deliver a simplified experience. So, how do we take the momentum we’ve built with the consistent approach established within our partner organization and monetize the concept of simplifying the experience for our customers with our partners? Partner to partner and multi-partner teaming will be paramount.
Multi-partner commitment is key
One of the most consistent themes that came up in discussion and meeting and maybe the most critical point of the Partner Xperience days was the need for partner-to-partner and multi-partner teaming.
As I noted above, the pace of innovation combined with the speed of customer demand for business outcomes is a something that can’t be tackled alone. Delivering simple experiences for customers truly does take an ecosystem.
Our customers need solutions and a partner-to-partner approach will get us there. Whether you are a reseller, developer, integrator etc…, our partner organization and ecosystem is primed to help show you with whom to partner with and how to drive growth.
Bryan McCarthy, our ecosystem business development manager, and I spoke about the importance of a multi-partner approach and the value of our ecosystem on our Facebook Live interview last week.
What to do next
Partners can carry the conversation over to the Webex Teams space to start exploring their next steps with Cisco and other partners.
Be sure to reach out to your Partner Account Manager to help you get started.
Niche applications with specific vertical relevance will always be a requirement, and as we move into a microservices API driven world, the interconnection of applications and hence partnerships will be paramount for the ultimate success of the ecosystem. Whilst I appreciate Cisco’s consistency in the approach to partnerships, it will be crucial to leverage your ISV community cross partner and cross border with no incumberance in terms of Cisco specific qualifications. It will also be imperitive for Cisco to embrace competitive offerings to specificallly complete the circle of Cyber security as devices proliferate and to find ways to partner with the new quorum of telco (data) providers and OTT players who are disrupting the old guard to bring new economic models to the end users! Happy to chat: email@example.com
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