As the Cisco Partner Ecosystem continues its growth, and customers transform IT to increase business outcomes, we want to create opportunity for our partners so they can choose what makes sense for their business, and pick the roles they want to play in the marketplace. A priority is driving partner success around new consumption models and software, as well as cloud.
Today at the Cisco Live event in Milan, Italy, we are announcing an expansion of our offers into infrastructure software with the launch of Cisco ONE Software, which presents a large opportunity for partners. You can learn more reading John Brigden’s blog also posted today.
We are also announcing the re-launch of Cisco Meraki as an enterprise class, cloud-managed IT solution. When Meraki was acquired, it was identified as an excellent area within Cisco for growth in the midmarket and predominantly for wireless. However, with more than 20 hardware product updates and more than 40 software releases in two years, we are not only seeing Meraki succeed in midmarket, but in the enterprise space as well. Our customers are not only deploying Meraki for Wi-Fi but as a broader network, security, and mobility management solution. Cisco’s Rob Soderbery provides more details in his blog here.
We realize that software is core to this new era of business, and I want you to know that software is core to Cisco. Let me delve into the details of what this means to partners.
Cisco ONE Software
At the heart of the new Cisco ONE Software approach is simplicity and choice for customers. We have taken literally hundreds of disparate SKUs and condensed that down into a very simple solutions-oriented approach. Cisco ONE Software includes comprehensive software suites across the Data Center, WAN, and Access domains. The approach helps CIOs reduce IT complexity by collecting all required software for particular use cases into simplified suites which can be purchased as solutions.
Ultimately, for Cisco partners, you will see:
- Lower barriers to sales with a solution-focused approach, and flexible deal structure tailored to customers’ budget and investment strategy
- Increased deal sizes of up to 10-20 percent from including more value in the sale
- The ability to earn VIP rebates on Cisco ONE Software SKUs that have been added to the VIP program.
- New revenue from a software practice including software adoption services and lifecycle management
- Predictable revenue streams that move toward long term relationships with subscription services
- Higher customer retention as software licenses no longer need to be re-purchased during hardware refresh cycles within the same product family.
- Through customized financing options from Cisco Capital, you’ll be able to offer lower total cost of ownership to customers while receiving predictable payments.
So how does Meraki tie into this new approach from Cisco? The answer is that Meraki already fits in nicely with the Cisco cloud strategy.
As one of Cisco’s fastest growing businesses, Cisco Meraki is attractive as a low-risk entry point for customers looking to manage their IT infrastructure, users, end devices, and applications from one central dashboard from the cloud. By doing so, customers benefit from faster IT deployments, full global business visibility, on-demand scalability, and lower IT costs.
We understand that partners are selling more than just hardware. Customers want a complete network, and Cisco Meraki makes it simple for you to provide that to your customers. Cisco Meraki simplifies network deployment and enables higher margins as well. Partners can increase deal size by providing a complete IT solution beyond just Wi-Fi, and enjoy a recurring revenue stream thanks to the cloud management license. Meraki is an ideal managed service networking solution whether you have an established MSP practice or are looking to start one, and it gives you a perfect on-ramp to target the growing segment of business that are seeking simplicity and centralized management.
All in all, Cisco ONE Software and Meraki are both manifestations of some of the models Cisco offers through its partners. The biggest news of the day is the level of choice customers have in how they purchase and consume their network and IT systems. If they want on-premise networks, complete cloud solutions or some hybrid mix of the two, we have you covered. That means that Cisco’s partners are able to provide customers with any solution that makes their networks complete.
So what do you think about Cisco ONE Software and the latest from Cisco Meraki? As always, I welcome your feedback and look forward to hearing what you think.