The opportunity for Cisco and our partners is bigger than ever before and is represented by four key trends: digitization is a reality that drives infrastructure spend; the increasing shift to the Cloud is requiring a fundamental change in how companies run their entire infrastructure; the technology spend of line of business buyers is surpassing IT budgets; and customer experience is becoming one of the most important differentiators.
As big as these opportunities are, it’s tempting to rush in and capture new growth they represent. But, that can put meeting your weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals at risk. What’s needed is striking the right balance of running your daily business while – at the same time – preparing to transition and capture these new opportunities for tomorrow’s growth.
Perform and Transform
That’s the heart of our partnering strategy, which centers on striking a balance. One that helps you perform to make your daily business goals so you can invest in your transformation and deliver the future capabilities our customers need. To find your right balance, how much are you going to invest in “today” and how much are you going to invest in your future? There’s no right answer as every partner’s business is unique. But we can help find the answer that’s right for you and support you in activating and developing new capabilities that will allow you to deliver increased customer value
Perform and transform. Three words. But the middle word – “and” – is the essential one.
OK, so you might ask, “Why? My business is going well enough and I don’t see that changing in the near term.” We know you have a business to run. We know you have to hit both near- and long-term targets. But we also know the market continues to evolve along with our customers’ expectations. This is why it’s important to leverage the profits from your daily business and invest together in new capabilities. That’s what can keep your business going and we can help.
Together, we continue to Perform
I’m sure you’re thinking, “That’s all well and good, Oliver, but what specifically are you arming us with to help balance both?” We already have some great tools and capabilities in place to help you perform, such as our award-winning partner programs and specializations. Plus, there is a lot to share on what we’ve done since Partner Summit 2018, including:
- Partner Plus Program– The Partner Plus Program helps partners accelerate growth in the Commercial segment (sub 100 employees). Partner Plus provides benefits such as marketing funding and product, software and service plays that align to our customer’s business outcomes. Find out more here.
- Competitive War Room Expansion– The Global Competitive War Room is your best resource for beating the competition, and it now includes competitive assets for security and collaboration. Engage with the War Room and get comprehensive, cross-architecture, competitive support 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. Check out our latest competitive positioning assets here.
- Migration Incentive Program (MIP)– With a $23.8B refresh opportunity over the next three years, MIP rewards you for migrating customers to new technologies and opens the doors to more cross-sell and upsell opportunities. MIP gives you incremental discounts on hardware, software, and services, with additional accelerators on specific technologies. Learn more here.
- Value Incentive Program (VIP) –Cisco’s most popular and longest-running channel incentive with billions of dollars in rebates claimed by partners like you. VIP helps you sell Cisco architectures more profitably. Did you also know that VIP has rewards available for monthly recurring revenue on software subscriptions for qualified partners? Learn more here.
- Digital Marketing– Building a digital marketing practice to complement your existing marketing strategies will differentiate you as an influencer and subject matter expert. 88 percent of people on the purchasing decision journey are influenced by what they see on their social channels while 60 percent will use support forums or technical discussion communities to inform their decision. Through Cisco’s Marketing Velocity platform, you can learn how to grow your digital footprint promoting your services as a valued Cisco Partner. Get started here.
- Channel program incentive agreement (CPIA)– We save you time and money with things like CPIA, which lets you enroll once into all the incentive programs for which you’re eligible, and then forget about having to re-enroll. To-date, CPIA has saved partners over $1 million in administrative time.
Plus, rest assured Cisco will continue to develop and deliver the best, highest quality products in the market. We’re the only company with a multi domain architecture that spans the campus to the edge, from the data center to the cloud. And customers can rest assured knowing security is embedded in our offerings to deliver end-to-end protection. None of our competitors can do this. They might have different pieces, but they don’t have the entire solution.
Together, we will Transform
We’re not just asking you to transform. We’re doing the same. We are evolving our own organization to better support our new strategy – putting our money where our mouth is. At the same time, we are rapidly evolving our programs and enablement to ensure you can build up the new capabilities needed to transform. A few examples:
- Customer Experience– with the Value Incentive Program (VIP),we have already started to pay more on the customer lifecycle (i.e., rewarding on activations as well adoption.) Later this year, we are launching the Customer Experience Specialization that will help you build lifecycle selling capabilities through a customer success practice.
- Programmability– we can help our partners differentiate through programmability, a huge and unique opportunity. Adding the programmability capability can solve unique challenges for our customers and can also lock out the competition with your unique solutions. Cisco DevNet now has more than 580,000 developers and can assist you in developing on top of Cisco infrastructure.
- New buying centers– we are currently evolving our Ecosystem Partner program to ensure our partners are rewarded (i.e., new incentives and funding) for performance and discovering new buying center opportunities. We already have a pilot program underway. Stay tuned for more details in the near future.
Those are some quick examples of Cisco working to help partners continue performing today AND start transforming for the future. My team and I will continue to share more examples with you via these blogs, our social feeds, at partner events and in direct communications.
Tomorrow starts TODAY.
There has never been a bigger opportunity for Cisco and our partners to perform for today and transform to win tomorrow. Together, we have the edge to beat the competition and solve complex customer challenges to deliver measurable business value!
Your feedback has been vital for helping us determine the best changes to make, and I would love to hear more of it in the comments here. Please let me know what you think.