Cisco Partner Summit 2023 was last week, and we had a record number of attendees and a great new location. The whole experience was powered by information, inspiration and connection.

“We didn’t just perform this year—we transformed!” Jeff Sharritts, EVP and Chief Customer and Partner Officer, captured the essence of what Cisco and our partners accomplished this past year. Partnership has been in our DNA since we started out 27 years ago.

At the heart of that future is partner managed services—you could hear its steady beat throughout the event. It was there in the keynotes and across our executive leadership’s presentations. From the partner conversation we could see the transition to managed services business models is underway and I had the opportunity to share my perspectives with a range of audiences at the event. With a projected $161B TAM by 2027, managed services will make up 46% of what Cisco sells by that same year.

But make no mistake: managed services isn’t just about the future—it’s here today! In a recent survey, 82% of Partner Summit attendees reported that they’re already growing their managed services practice and named it as their top priority in meeting customer needs. We have 18 partner managed-ready offers ready today. And our sellers get 2x payout for selling partner managed services!

I had the chance to speak with Hege Stoere and Goran Gustavsson of MSP Advania at Cisco Partner Summit 2023

And let’s not forget the point of the “Greater Together” theme this year! This isn’t about Cisco just moving things forward for the sake of innovation. Customer needs drive our partners’ needs—and ours too.

“We’re trying to grow our managed services contracts and so adding more to that portfolio, especially with all the business that we do with Cisco… It can’t hurt … and we can add pieces and parts to get to that final solution.”
—Steve Wylie, Senior Vice President and General Manager, East Majors, for Trace3

Jeff Sharritts and Rodney Clark on stage at Cisco Partner Summit 2023

We also had the opportunity to thank Oliver, our channel chief since 2018, who took the stage for a final time as he transitions to his new role as President of EMEA. He’s been an incredible leader and mentor, and I feel privileged to have worked so closely with him. At the same time, we were honored to welcome Rodney Clark at Partner Summit—he’ll join us in January as Senior Vice President of Partnerships and SMB. Much of Rodney’s career has been in the channel, and he’s come to Cisco specifically because we’re a partner-led company.

What’s new? Key managed services announcements

We’ve been busy this year, so we were able to share exciting new developments at Cisco Partner Summit!

To start with, we’ve strengthened our support for partners! Our Partner Advanced Support for MSPs is a groundbreaking CX service designed for partners who need higher levels of support, faster resolutions and accelerated outcomes. Guided API support, faster access to award-winning TAC services, and automated RCA & RMA tools reduce resolution time up to 50%! This is a real game-changer for MSPs. Here’s how Denzil Samuels, our VP of global CX partner success, puts it:

“It’s hard to imagine that [as of 2021], the only way we helped partners solve problems for their customers was through email and telephone calls and here we are talking about digital transformation… Now, when the customer calls [a partner] and they open a problem ticket, Cisco instantly sees it. And it’s not just a general TAC group—it’s a specialized group of architects that can see it. So, we can now help them diagnose some of these issues in real-time and come up with a solution in real-time. We’re really moving the dial from reactive to proactive to predictive to even prescriptive.”
—Denzil Samuels, VP of Global CX Partner Success
Read more our in blog.

Security prioritized in three of our new partner managed-ready offers

Our new Managed XDR (Extended Detection and Response) offer, designed for MSPs with security operations centers needing advanced threat detection and response. This unified, extensible offer is bolstered by key incubation partners including ATSG, Port53, ATEA, Telenor and Sentinel.

Our new Managed Firewall offer expands perimeter security; its innovative features allow for scalability, multitenancy, and advanced automation—all to reduce TCO and boost MSP revenue opportunities.

And our Secure Networking MSP Campaign helps partners go to market faster and scale more effectively with an SMB and commercial customer security and networking solution that combines Meraki, Secure Firewall, and Cisco+ Secure Connect. We’ve also included guided service creation, great programmatic pricing, and incentives so Cisco provider partners can capture new opportunities in the expanding managed security market.

So we’ve got support, we’ve got security—we’re also building for speed! The MSP Expressway for SMB play puts partners into the fast lane as they pursue the growing SMB market opportunity. Scalable partner-ready offers combine the Cisco cloud platforms for networking, security and collaboration with resources, tools and best practices to accelerate time to market.

I also had the chance to speak with Paul Hager, VP of Services at Ingram Micro, at Cisco Partner Summit 2023

Because kudos are in order!

Among the winners of the Cisco Partner Summit 2023 awards, help me congratulate our MSP partners:

  • KDDI Corporation (APJC): Managed Services Partner of the Year, Global
  • Logicalis: Managed Services Partner of the Year, Americas
  • TM Technology Services Sdn Bhd: Managed Services Partner of the Year, APJC
  • NTT DATA, Inc. Belgium: Managed Services Partner of the Year, EMEA

See a full list of all Partner Summit 2023 award winners.

So yes, Partner Summit was a lot to take in! I will leave you with the 3 main takeaways from the main stage:

1) We have a massive opportunity in front of us.

2) The pace of innovation and acceleration, and the state of the portfolio, are the strongest we’ve seen in decades, with everything we need to win.

3) Most importantly: Cisco is, and will always be, a partner-led company.


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Alexandra Zagury

Vice President, Partner Managed Services and aaS Sales

Global Partner Organization