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Cisco Partner Summit Key Takeaway – What it Takes to Drive Customer Obsession


November 30, 2018 - 0 Comments

It’s hard to believe that it’s been two weeks since our Cisco Partner Summit in Las Vegas. What a week it was!  As I reflect on a fantastic week of sharing, inspiring, connecting and celebrating with our partners, I’m more excited and more convinced than ever about our future growth opportunities with this world class and coveted ecosystem.

So, why am I excited? In summary …

Cloud is now fueling our growth.
Chuck said it best: “That existential threat from four or five years ago that was going to be the end of us, that was going to lead to no customer ever buying a piece of IT equipment for an on-premise work ever, is actually driving our growth today.” This means Cisco and our partner ecosystem need to embrace a multicloud world for our customers. The good news is there’s no better company on the planet prepared to do this than Cisco – working with our partners. Cisco’s solution set, continued innovation, and exciting partnerships with players like Microsoft, Google and now AWS propel us into a market leadership position for us to optimize!

It’s time to drive customer obsession – and capture the $3.7T digital opportunity it creates for us.
As I shared on mainstage, while we’ve done an amazing job with our partners driving customer satisfaction over the years, it’s critical that we set the bar higher – now driving customer obsessiontogether. We must perform today – while transforming for the future – because our customers expect more from us.  They demand powerful business outcomes, consumption flexibility, and security and privacy rigor. It’s on all of us to drive this.

Customer success practices are foundational to our mutual future success.
Our transformational leadership challenge with our partners is to build robust Customer Success Practices (see image below): driving a new sales motion around software, developing licensing expertise, building lifecycle practices and software development practices. This will catalyze customer obsession, customer retention and revenue growth. 
Over the last two years we’ve experienced strong support and success in the top two pillars. Now, we collectively need to double down on building lifecycle and software development practices. Our top enablement priority for FY19 is right here, and our partner teams stand ready to help our partners build new muscle around customer success!

Great news. Our partners can take action now!
We want to ensure partners have the skills, tools and resources they need to take action around these focus areas today. I announced two new offers at Partner Summit our partners can take advantage of right now:

Lifecycle Adoption Practice Offer – Stronger partner customer adoption capabilities drives better renewal rates, greater expansion and fuels customer retention. During my Americas Geo Connection Session, I introduced LIFTinnovate, an ecosystem partner who compliments existing partners by providing tools and expertise to help partners build stronger adoption practices.  During FY’19, we’ll co-fund a lifecycle adoption services engagement where a lifecycle partner like LIFTinnovate can help Cisco partners build a customer lifecycle adoption practice.

Software Development Practice Offer – According to IDC, by 2020, partner IP will define partner business models – it will be the dominant driver of most partners’ revenue and profitability. We want to help our partners strengthen their capabilities here. I introduced IGNW, another ecosystem partner who has helped many partners find their “sweet spot” in application development.

For FY’19, we’ll co-fund a 30-day engagement with IGNW or another qualified partner to help partners accelerate development of their application programmability practices.

Existing partners can learn more about both amazing, high value offers by engaging their account teams.

Our leadership team is energized – and fully committed to partner and customer success.

There’s no denying that we have experienced executive changes at Cisco, but I couldn’t be more excited about our leadership team. With our powerful blend of new and veteran Cisco leaders, we’re fully committed to partners as our primary route-to-market. All of us are supporting today’s drive to perform and run the business while focusing on transforming to meet the changing expectations of our customers. This is personally very energizing for yours truly.

I’m pumped and so are my Cisco colleagues. It’s going to be an amazing year ahead! Thanks for listening.

 



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