A leader is like a captain of a sailing ship. I love that analogy as I happen to be both. Sailing is my passion, and five years ago, I earned my offshore certification to captain my boat, Deo Fidelis. I have led Cisco’s Global Customer Experience (CX) Partner Success for more than a year. I find many similarities in both positions.

As a captain, I embark on the journey with purpose and resolve. I steer a steady course but am ready to change tack, adjusting to changing conditions. And to navigate to my destination successfully, I must have a thorough understanding of my boat and its inner workings. I need to also study the weather patterns (winds, tides, storms, etc.) to properly chart the right course. This is also true of how I lead CX Partner Success with our Cisco teams to help our partners build a sustainable CX practice for higher customer satisfaction, loyalty, recurring revenue, and expanded opportunity.

Before the Pandemic, CX was about an Eight on a CEO’s Top Ten List of Priorities. Today,
in Response to the Winds of Change, CX Is #1 on a CEO’s Priority List

Like navigating the waves of the ocean, navigating the changes in the marketplace is challenging but doable; the key is being prepared and having an outstanding team and partners. Today’s dramatic market shifts force us to chart a new course. We must think and act differently. Specifically, our partners can no longer just be resellers. They must be strategic advisors; they must accelerate business outcomes; they must deliver proactive insights; and they must simplify and scale. Partners need to evolve to become managed service providers to embrace the move to As-a-Service. This is in response to the fact that we have moved from a product economy to a subscription economy to a consumption economy, and now we are very much in an ‘experiential economy.’

Our Experiences Change the Way We Buy

We have all seen the rise and fall of companies such as Yahoo versus Google, Blockbuster versus Netflix, and Apple versus Nokia based on how they deliver customer experience. The way they adapted and accelerated their customer experience changed the trajectory of their course.

In my first year at Cisco, I have spent a lot of time with our partners and what they ask for most is:

  • Make us more relevant.
  • Help us differentiate our brand, service, and value to our customers.
  • Show us that partners are still a priority for Cisco. 

As a former Cisco partner for many years and now a leader of our Cisco Global CX Partner Success, I can attest that Cisco is, and always will be, a partner-first organization. We are absolutely committed to our Customer Experience (CX) partner-led strategy. In fact, partners are our anchor, contributing approximately 90% of Cisco’s overall bookings. Partners are our customers.

We work with partners to deliver exceptional customer experiences with partner innovation and expertise wrapped around Cisco’s core technology. Our comprehensive lifecycle partner model helps partners monetize, operate, and organize for customer success.

Together, We Are Evolving and Adapting Our CX Partner Success Journey

As we evolve our business from point products and services to a lifecycle approach to drive outcomes, we want our partners alongside us to help customers succeed. We’ve designed the Cisco Success Portfolio for optimal sailing, so partners can drive better business outcomes faster. ​Our portfolio comprises two primary offerings: Advisory and Support Services.​

With the launch of Cisco’s Partner Lifecycle Services (PLS) at last year’s Cisco Partner Summit, the response from partners has exceeded expectations. Hundreds have signed up their interest in jumping aboard. We welcome partners to continue to sign up. Cisco partners who want to participate in PLS will need to meet certain eligibility requirements.

Cisco eligible PLS partners can steer their boat to smoother waters and create offerings by mixing and matching Cisco-provided services, partner-delivered services, and partner-provided services in a joint go-to-market and co-delivered model while increasing profitability and total addressable market (TAM).

Cisco PLS Provides Greater Flexibility and Choice

With PLS, partners have a menu of choices for monetizing customer lifecycle and support service – branded, delivered, and enhanced with partners’ professional services, actionable customer lifecycle data, and the right services, delivery, and data mix to help partners drive growth, differentiation, and profitability.

Our Partner Experience Cloud (PX Cloud) enhancements can simplify data and predictive analytics access. At the same time, digital Customer Success and Renewals engagements can accelerate their customers’ time to value.

More PLS Announcements will be Released this Year and Featured at 

Cisco Live “All In” 2022 — in Las Vegas & Online

June 12 – 16, 2022 | Registration is Open!

Cisco PLS provides partners with the essential equipment and crew to reach their destination by enhancing their capabilities, improving their profitability, and driving success for their customers.

Together with our partners, we can all be captains of our ships and navigate the waves of change for better and more successful outcomes.

Visit SuccessHub for more information.


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Denzil Samuels

Vice President, Partner Success

Cisco Global Customer Experience (CX)