The technology and business world has effectively shifted to a remote or, for some, a hybrid work environment. While we struggled into this new lifestyle seemingly overnight, we were also working to ensure the diverse voices across the globe were also heard and their needs met.

Liz Fosslien, a co-author and illustrator of the Wall Street Journal Best-seller No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work and an expert on how to make work better said, “Diversity is having a seat at the table. Inclusion is having a voice. And belonging is having that voice be heard.”

At Cisco we are working to ensure our customers needs are met when transitions occur, so you feel like you have a seat, a voice, and feel heard. With the shifts we have made throughout the past several quarters, we have put focus, energy, and urgency on digital transformation and the need to deliver digital-first services. Since, according to Gartner, “88% of global enterprises encourage their office workers to work from home because of the pandemic,” the need to also shift how we engage with our distributors, partners, and customers has been in the forefront.

Here’s what we’ve heard.

  1. Faster Access to Innovation

Customers want to be more competitive, which means they need access to the innovation, systems, and resources as fast as possible. Software makes it much easier to get the latest features on-demand, the ability to refresh systems when needed, and have instant access to security with endpoint-to-endpoint protection.

  1. Enhanced Agility

Once customers can be more competitive with access to the latest technology, they must be able to respond to the market faster. When customers can scale up or scale down quickly, port licenses easily to new hardware, and buy what they need, when it’s needed, they have the upper hand.

  1. Optimal Financial Planning

There’s never a worse feeling than not having the budget you need when a need arises. Through recurring revenue, IT can lower initial investments while enabling more predictable future budgets. There’s also a level of shared risk with vendors which isn’t possible otherwise. On top of everything, isn’t it fantastic when customers see they have the option to shift their CapEx to OpEx?

Based on a report by AppDynamics, “74% of CIOs reported that their digital projects that would have taken a year to be approved, are now being approved in a matter of weeks.” This shift helps customers realize their priorities around digital transformation have never been more relevant, critical, or strategically important to their business.

Recurring offers provide opportunities for consistent conversation with customers to guarantee the strategic plan for growth is being followed through and the use of Cisco’s solutions and support. With this regular engagement, our partners can identify natural opportunities for expansion, a seamless renewal process with potential for larger deal sizes.

Next week, distributors, partners, and customers alike can attend WebexOne 2021. This free, virtual event showcases our commitment to helping people connect and engage with each other, using technology to unlock that potential. Technology is the great equalizer when thoughtfully applied, and together we can elevate people, communities, and organizations. If you have not registered for this event, now is the time.

As we move further into this pandemic with a greater sense of how we can support our customers through embracing diversity, inclusion, and belonging, we will reach our goal of positively impacting 1 billion people by 2025.

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John Brookbank

Vice President, Americas Distribution

WW Partner Sales