My passport has seen better days. Dog-eared, creased, and scuffed, it’s been my steady companion whose pages chronicle my travel over the last few months. Moscow, London, Melbourne, Singapore, Florida, Chicago, Barcelona, Rome, Nassau, Glasgow – these are just a few of the places I’ve been.

Why all the travel? Spring is our season of intense and focused partner engagement where we host a variety of forums and events around the world to share our company strategy, technology roadmap and hear what’s on the minds of our partners. While the travel can be exhausting, this is one of my favorite times of the year. It’s my opportunity to hear directly from you – your concerns, questions, and your successes.

Given our always changing market, there is never a finish line. There is too much at stake to take our eye off the ball even for a moment. But the feedback you’ve shared signals we’re headed in the right direction. First, you are reenergized by our resurging innovation, both in terms of how we’re reinventing networking but also in our recent collaboration, data center and security announcements. Second, you’re winning bigger and more strategic deals by leveraging the collective assets of our growing partner ecosystem. Third, you appreciate that we’re not only listening to your feedback, but we’re acting on it. In fact, over the course of the last three years, we’ve invested nearly $400M to make our systems easier, revamp our programs, and give you the training you need to evolve your business. Collectively, these elements reflect our continued commitment to fuel your opportunity and growth.

But there’s another important piece of feedback you shared: you strongly agree we need to reinvent our go-to-market motions in three key areas:

  1. Positioning: We need to change how we position our technology and capabilities by setting the customer’s expectation up front so their perceptions are aligned with the full range of capabilities that Cisco and our ecosystem partners can provide. It’s no longer just about selling products; it’s about showing the full value across the technology envelope, including software, solutions and services.
  2. Recurring revenue: We need to change how we transact and move from focusing only on the initial hardware sale to embracing new “as a service” consumption models. Building more predictable, recurring revenue helps drive consistent business performance, drives higher margins and ensures we stay front and center in the minds of our customers.
  3. Customer lifecycle: We need to change how we grow by driving customer engagement across the lifecycle. Gone are the days of drop-shipping a product. It’s now about ensuring the customer activates the technology and adopts it across their organization so we’re in a better position to expand our footprint to adjacent opportunities.

I’m confident that reinventing our go-to-market will allow us to adapt to the changing market and better serve our customers together. While their expectations of what technology can do for them is evolving, we can also ensure our continued relevance and competitive differentiation.

No one said it will be easy and that we’ll always get it right, so please keep the feedback coming. Knowing what’s working and what isn’t is critical to our mission: fueling new opportunities together.

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Questions or Comments? Feel free to connect with me on Twitter.


Wendy Bahr

No Longer with Cisco