The world is changing, but our long-term partner strategy is not. I talked about “owning your edge” at Cisco Partner Summit 2019, and today we remain committed to this purpose, even in these unprecedented circumstances. We’re as dedicated as ever to helping our partners perform and transform to deliver even more value for customers. As difficult as this all seems, I believe we’ll eventually be in an even stronger position coming out of it.
We hear a lot about the “new normal” and how life as we know it is being remolded to fit within the contours of today’s world. While no one knows for sure how all of this eventually unfolds, there are a few indicators that point to what we can expect.
What we know
We are confident that the investments we’ve made over the last few years have put Cisco and our partners in a really good position. Intuitive networking systems, integrated security, flexible workloads, and cognitive collaboration not only enable us to meet our customers’ needs today but gives us a significant head start as the economy recovers. I do not possess a crystal ball, but I believe there are three phases that will define our partners’ experiences now, and in the months ahead:
Increased demand for IT
The sudden increase in remote workers not only accelerated video conferencing but also created an urgent need for related IT infrastructure to support it. This phase included enabling our customers’ home offices with secure connections and scaling existing solutions to meet their new workforce environments. Our expanded list of free trials provide your customers a head start and created more opportunities down the road that will soon be ready to mine.
A slowing economy
It seems every day sees a new headline about the economy. While no industry is completely insulated, there are varying degrees of economic impact. Some reports indicate customers are investing in cloud and XaaS solutions, while others reveal a starker contrast with investments in hardware infrastructure slowing.
Regardless of where they sit on the curve right now, it’s clear that our partners will likely face different degrees of business impact. As we have from the beginning, we will continue to do everything we can to ensure you’re always performing at your best, while still looking to transform for the future.
Back to growth
There are breadcrumbs that can reveal a path back to growth. As companies faced the risk of seeing their revenues drop when lockdowns were implemented, they quickly mobilized and are today realizing the power of their IT investments. But for many more, the lockdowns also represented a need to adapt to new business models, new ways of engaging customers, and new ways of working. That means IT investments and, in many cases, an acceleration of their digital transformation plans, the benefits of which have come into a clearer, more vital focus.
The prospects for you are clear: there will be a return to growth where opportunities for managed services, XaaS, automation, adoption services and custom-developed apps are increasingly urgent.
Along with our employees and customers, our focus throughout all of this is, as always, our partners and ensuring you have what you need to succeed. No matter what, your profitability is our #1 priority. We stand with you to deliver on the needs of our customers. To win and gain share. To help you perform for today and transform for tomorrow.