Partnerships build upon the best of what two or more parties have to offer. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. We can all name some classic, successful partnerships (Watson and Crick, Tuskegee Airmen, Lennon and McCartney), and we can probably name some not so successful ones. The key is to make the other party the star from the beginning.

Cisco loves its partners! We’ve been partner-centric from the beginning, and now have a 35-year history of being a pro-partner organization. With thousands of partners around the globe, it’s obvious that Cisco has figured out how to establish partnerships that benefit all the parties involved, especially our customers.

Today I want to highlight a small yet powerful group of five strategic partners who can help companies respond to current marketplace challenges. Organizations around the world need help to establish remote enterprise capabilities quickly and reliably with IT architectures that are automated, agile, and secure. Even before the pandemic, digital transformation affected many types of business operations, as enterprises launched change journeys to incorporate AI, machine learning, big data, multicloud, and analytics. With these and other changes, organizations need to consume differently. The marketplace continues to evolve.  Along with buying and owning equipment, organizations are moving to a flexible consumption model, paying much smaller monthly or quarterly fees based on what they use.

The value of GSI ITSPs

Global Systems Integrators (GSIs) excel at the flexible consumption model, which makes them perfect for transformation projects. I manage 13 GSI partner relationships for Cisco. Five of these organizations, our IT Service Provider (ITSP) group, have a unique capability to respond FAST to customer needs around the world (Cognizant, HCL, Infosys, Tech Mahindra, and Wipro). They can do that because of their size, scale, speed, and resources. The five companies I mentioned have more than two million workers globally!

Because of our strategic partnerships with these GSI ITSPs, customers have options on how to consume and how to make decisions about their critical capital resources. This group helps us scale, accelerate results, and drive transformation in unique ways. Instead of just monitoring equipment performance, our combined Cisco and GSI ITSP products and services deliver outcome-based solutions with transformative results. You can learn more about how partners perform for today while driving transformation for the future from Cisco SVP Oliver Tuszik’s blog.

How Cisco and its GSI ITSP partners lead customers through transformation

We also help our customers move toward transformative change by working with the GSI ITSPs to bring new solutions to market. Over the course of these long-term partner relationships (some go back 20 – 25 years), we work together in research labs, centers of excellence, and on customer projects to develop unique solutions for our customers.

  • For example, Cisco and HCL helped an American medical technology company transform its network environment, moving from an inefficient physical infrastructure with multiple data centers and 5,000+ network assets to a software-defined solution. The new environment helped this company increase its IT agility with dynamic scaling, improve efficiencies with centralized management, deliver faster time to market, and reduce its capital costs.
  • In another example, Cisco and Infosys worked with a large European wind turbine manufacturer to transform its disparate network environment into a software-defined data center, agile LAN, and software-defined WAN. This project delivered a 50 percent reduction in data center footprint, 50 percent increase in network turn-around time, 40 percent improvement in WAN connectivity, and 30 percent reduction in operational costs.

I have many more examples that demonstrate the powerful, transformative results that have been delivered to our customers because of our strategic relationships with our GSI ITSP partners. For companies that want these meaningful results at the speed of change, service providers are key.

Contact me to see how Cisco and our GSI ITSP partners can transform your business!

Learn more about these GSI ITSPs and all of our global strategic partners.



Rhonda Henley

Vice President

Americas Partner Organization