Beginning as early as the sixth century B.C., the ancient Greeks have used pillars to build enormous structures to facilitate commerce, learning, socialization, and a place to honor their gods. These columns were an architectural invention that was not only used to support large ceilings without the need of solid walls, but also allowed for the maximum amount of light to filter into the center.

Since the primary source of light throughout the day originated from the sun, it was vital these structures that were centered on bringing people together were illuminated with more than just firelight. This year we are working harder than ever to enlighten our Cisco colleagues, partners, and customers about the core value and uniqueness that Distribution brings to Cisco, more than just rely on the traditions of the past several decades.

It is beyond a doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience.
– Immanuel Kant

Like the Ancient Greeks whose pillars emitted a sense of order, strength, balance, and support, our FY23 strategy to align, enable, accelerate, and even simplify almost perfectly aligns.

Order – Align

How we align our 2-tier partner’s growth and sales is critical when our combined goal is to drive high-value services acceleration, help customers through partners and distributors find and accelerate their unique business outcomes through cross-architectural Cisco solutions like SaaS, or devise a tighter interlock for renewals and commerce automation. Assisting you, our Cisco Distributors, and your associated partners optimize your profitability and growth in your investment is how the order pillar comes together. It’s not about shuffling how we do business but analyzing and making data driven sales decisions utilizing resources like the Partner Journey Dashboard.

Balance – Enable

To provide a greater sense of balance to your business, we are enabling you through connections to Lifecycle selling, Skillset Development on Cisco Blackbelt, and cross-architectural support. Through the Cisco Black Belt Distribution Academy, we are enabling you with guidance from every architecture and segment, and more sections are added frequently as additional teams take advantage of knowledge sharing through this platform. These resources can help with on-boarding net new logos, up-level existing partners, and take Cisco sales to new levels.

Strength – Accelerate

When I think of our sales acceleration programs, several come to mind – ones I’m sure you are also familiar with. We are ever striving to make improvements to these programs, especially around monetizing CX, the Invest and Grow program, and backing additional routes to market in Managed Services and eCommerce platforms. We are also putting some effort into highlighting the Distributor Value-add story with our internal teams and giving similar co-brandable resources to your teams so you can do the same to and through your partners.

Support – Simplify

Simplification underpins each of our pillars.  It may not always seem like we are making a dent in the attempt, but trust that it is discussed in every conversation. Our support to the small and midsized businesses is vital to our and your success. Through increased focus we will tap into these alignment initiatives and support the SMB space in ways that would drive simplicity for all of us. We all know simplifying a large engine with many moving, interlocking parts is not “easy”, but we are constantly gathering experience with each attempt and bringing in the voices and leaders to run full speed into the headwinds.


We have always acknowledged the value that Distribution brings to Cisco, but this is the year we make an intellectual movement to emphasize that it’s more than tradition, it’s foundational to everything we do in the world of Cisco partnerships. We invite you to be part of our movement into Distribution Enlightenment.


For more, make sure to register for Cisco Partner Summit 2022!


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John Brookbank

Vice President, Americas Distribution

WW Partner Sales