You know the familiar adage about looking at the past to predict the future, right? That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t always work when you’re dealing with something that’s unchartered, unproven, and not to mention disruptive. Yet as businesses running technology companies in today’s hyper-changing world, that’s what we’re up against almost every day.

This was made clear to me through the many interactions I’ve had with partners since the beginning of the year. Starting with the Greater China Partner Conference in Guangzhou, China in January to yesterday’s Partner Technical Advisory Board in San Francisco, the topics that came up time and again was around how Cisco and our partners are going to capture more business opportunity from digitization, including updating customers’ outdated networks, shifting to recurring and predictive revenue models and the increasingly loud alarm bell around security.

While there’s no magic playbook for capturing growth opportunities out of change, this is where that old adage about looking at the past to predict the future actually does have merit. Over the course of 30 years, Cisco extended our relevance and value to customers by evolving and staying ahead of market transitions. Whether that’s VoIP, Telepresence, software defined networking, unified computing, security or others, anticipating and capturing market transitions is a core part of Cisco’s legacy and a big reason why you, our partners, have been so successful. It’s also why we’ve been able to maintain our leading competitive edge.

But equally important is making sure you are fully equipped and enabled to make these transitions with us. Representing approximately 85 percent of our entire bookings, you and our collective partner ecosystem are a vital link to not only advancing Cisco’s strategy, but also ensuring we deliver on the changing needs of our customers. It’s critical that we provide you the necessary tools and capabilities that enable you to capture the growth opportunities that market transitions present. This has always been – and will continue to be – a priority for us.

For example, when we saw the opportunity presented by developing professional services built around Cisco’s innovation, we made sure you had the tools, training, and resources to be successful. To this day, it’s not uncommon for a long-standing partner to mention the effectiveness of the return on invested capital model (ROIC) we developed that helped them understand their profitability, costs, and cash flow in a services environment.

There’s no question that digitization is a mega market transition unto itself and represents tremendous opportunity for Cisco and you. We began laying the groundwork a year ago with Cisco’s Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA).  Cisco DNA is foundational for customers who want to fully exploit the advantages of digitization. Open, extensible, and software-driven, the Cisco DNA architecture provides real-time insights, personalized experiences, automation and assurance. What’s more, Cisco DNA can turn a network into an intelligent security system that provides multilayered protection.

As we extend our heritage in network innovation with ongoing investments in Cisco DNA, intensify our focus on creating more recurring revenue subscription models and continue to invest in breakthrough security capabilities, you can rest assured we remain committed to your success. It’s no wonder independent research shows you’re exceptionally loyal to us. Your confidence and trust in us is a reflection of our commitment to your success.

I’d like to think we are your constant in a storm of digital change. Together, I know we’ll own the next market transition. Bring it on. We’ve done it before, we’ll do it again.

Want to learn more about Digital Network Architecture?

If you are not a partner with Cisco, learn how to get started today.

Questions or Comments? Feel free to connect with me on Twitter.


Wendy Bahr

No Longer with Cisco