Back in March, as part of Cisco Partner Summit, I presented the Cisco Partner Ecosystem, which includes our existing channel program and our services program, and involves a much broader set of partners, such as Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), technology and consulting firms.
Since Partner Summit, my focus has been driving the growth of the Cisco Partner Ecosystem by helping partners capture opportunities related to marketing transitions, especially in the Internet of Everything (IoE) space. You’ve heard us say it numerous times, but that $19 trillion opportunity with IoE during the next ten years is there for the taking and we want to make sure our partners do not miss out on their share.
In just about seven months, we are already seeing what can be accomplished by connecting different partner types with the existing Cisco Channel. We continue to see more and more innovative solutions that truly drive the business outcomes our customers seek.
Partner Ecosystem Growth
With the Cisco Partner Ecosystem, we have seen tremendous interest from new partner types, such as ISVs and software developers. In order to continue developing that interest, and expanding our ecosystem, we have:
- Built teams in all Cisco regions to recruit and engage ISVs
- Worked closely with cloud providers to help ISVs build or move their software as a service (SaaS) onto Cisco datacenters
- Added a wealth of IoE and IoT partners spanning multiple industries, and including AGT International, Schneider Electric, Rockwell Automation, Yokogawa, Honeywell and Emerson
As we add more ecosystem partners we are really starting to see what types of business outcomes they can bring to our customers. We understand that, for our partners as well as us, it’s no longer OK to just sell a product. It’s about selling a solution, and that solution must deliver the business outcomes that promote growth and profitability.
Solution Partner Program Update
As part of the Cisco Partner Ecosystem, the members of the Solution Partner Program make up a key part of our ecosystem approach. The Solution Partner Program connects the partners creating solutions that can be leveraged by the entire Cisco channel. That channel is currently around 68,000 strong and the participating solution partners deliver business outcomes that allow the channel to drive conversations with lines of business (LoB) and new areas of business.
Since Partner Summit, we have expanded our Solution Partner Program to nearly 800 solution partners and have gained traction in areas such as collaboration, wireless mobility, big data, and UCS. The solutions you find in our Solutions Marketplace are verified for interoperability and are tested as part of Cisco Validated Design.
Several of our solution partners have been highlighted in Partner Voices blogs from David Durham recently. What better way to show you the strides we are making with the Solution Partner Program than to illustrate some of the successes we’ve seen lately, such as Unitrends’ disaster recovery solution, StorMagic’s risk management solution, or Trend Micro’s scalable data center environment?
Partner Ecosystem Continues to Grow
Examples like these demonstrate the strength of the Cisco Partner Ecosystem, and why the Cisco Solution Partner Program is such a vital part of our plan. Growing and nurturing an entire ecosystem is a world away from old-school product marketing, and we are continuing the shifts that make Cisco much more formidable with its ecosystem. In fact, marketing an ecosystem is just what Debbie Gililland talked about just yesterday. You can see it’s not about that single piece of hardware anymore. Success now lies in providing overall business outcomes that provide complete, cost-effective solutions to customers.
We will continue to cultivate the Cisco Partner Ecosystem so that its growth will benefit you even more as we move forward. Specifically, for the rest of our fiscal year, my personal focus remains on:
- Continuing to broaden the Cisco Partner Ecosystem: I will keep pushing to attract partners, such as ISVs, around cloud, IoE, IoT and software. I will continue building strong programs and incentives for all of our partners to help each and every one of you succeed.
- Enhancing Partner Enablement and Experience: I will work to improve on our existing tools and platforms with a specific emphasis on creating and expanding incentives, certifications, specializations and trainings to give you all the tools you need to differentiate yourselves.
- New Growth Areas: I will help you build business practices around Cisco technology, embrace new or different consumption models, and take advantage of untapped markets. I will keep you abreast of the latest market trends and work hard to create opportunity for you to choose what business outcomes will make you the most successful in the world of IoE.
Let Me Know What You Need
I know the amount of information around the Cisco Partner Ecosystem can be overwhelming. We are living and working in it every day and striving to simplify it and make it easy for you to digest. With that said, I do understand there are a lot of moving parts on the Cisco side of the ecosystem right now, and it’s my job to make sure it all makes sense and you have the information you need to succeed.
Being part of the Cisco Partner Ecosystem puts you in a unique situation to succeed, but you still need the right approach, so don’t hesitate to let me know what you think or ask any questions in the comments section. I look forward to your feedback!