Spring is a time for renewal, growth and expansion. As we witness the landscape transform from brown to green and blossom into color, we realize that change is all around us. And although we can explore ways to transform ourselves and our Cisco practice anytime during the year, Spring just feels like the best time—a time to take action and create change.

By now, you’ve likely heard success stories about Cisco Partners that have already taken the initiative to transform their practices. There’s the multi-partner win with Cisco and six partners co-selling at a top-10 US grocer that resulted in a $20 million dollar deal. There’s WaitTime, an ecosystem partner that integrates with Cisco Meraki and Cisco Vision Dynamic Signage through Cisco APIs to apply AI and imaging techniques to monitor crowd behavior.

These are just a few of the many examples of how Cisco Partners have achieved improved outcomes through transformation. But for those partners who have not yet started their transformational journeys, I’m often asked the same question: “Exactly how do I transform my practice?” In other words, what are some of the actionable transformation plans you can start working on right now—this Spring—as you begin the journey to transform their business?

To begin answering this question, let me share three specific actions to consider:

Equip your team with and train them on the DevNet sandbox

Leverag Devnet and extend Cisco platform capabilities by programming to Cisco APIsOne way to transform is to build your own software and solutions practice. In a nutshell, this means leveraging your unique understanding of customer needs to build software that helps to differentiate your offerings, improve your operating efficiencies for instance through automation, and create new, higher margin revenue streams associated with selling software.

To assist you in building your own software and solutions practice, Cisco will help you utilize APIs from Cisco platforms, leveraging Cisco DevNet capabilities and specializations to create your own applications. This will leverage your industry and customer knowledge to build a software business and create new revenue streams.

And the Cisco DevNet sandbox is a great place to start, as it’s essentially a technology-packed Cisco lab. The DevNet sandbox is for engineers, developers, network admins, architects and anyone else who wants to develop and test against Cisco’s APIs, controllers, network gear, collaboration suite and much more. And best of all, it’s free.

Take advantage of the Cisco Lifecycle Advantage Program

We’ve discovered that best-in-class partners lean into customer success and a lifecycle-first approach to selling. By leveraging the customer lifecycle to deliver better business outcomes for their customers, these partners enjoy improved business outcomes for themselves. Focusing on customer success throughout the lifecycle helps you differentiate your practice, increase profitability, provide superior customer experiences and engage more closely with customers across the lifecycle.

Lifecycle advantage program for partners to manage customer experienceTo help you transform your practice with a stronger focus on customer success, check out the Cisco Lifecycle Advantage Program. This partner-led customer engagement program promotes adoption, simplifies renewals and upsells higher-value solutions. It centers on important milestones in the life of a customer by using co-branded and data-triggered email automation to provide Cisco Partners with a simple and efficient customer engagement model.

The Lifecycle Advantage Program is a completely partner-led motion that helps Cisco Partners engage with customers at each step of their journey. It does not replace any of the high-touch, high-quality engagement that partners already have with their customers. Instead, it supplements that engagement, allowing partners to stay top of mind with proactive content, and scales their businesses so none of their customers are left out, regardless of their size.

Utilize the all-new Partner Connect feature on the Partner Experience Platform

Customers are increasingly buying solutions, but these solutions have become so complex that no single vendor can solve a customer’s problem anymore. Rather, these solutions result from a synchronized motion with complementary partners — such as ISVs, IHVs, VARs, MSPs and Cisco — working together to deliver customers’ desired business outcomes. But here’s the challenge: How do you find these partners to co-sell with?

To address this challenge, Cisco is adding Partner connection functionality to the Partner Experience Portal (PXP). PXP was originally developed as a single place for Cisco re-sellers to manage their relationship with Cisco. Now, this platform has been expanded to support our solution partners as well.

Partner Connect extends our Partner Experience Platform functionality by enabling partners to search for potential co-selling partners. Partners can search based on location, industry and Cisco architecture to receive a list of matching co-sellers. Partners can then reach out to these matched co-sellers to begin conversations through the platform.

Spring is here and change is in the air

Our customers are changing. They want to buy solutions. And they want exceptional customer experience delivered throughout the lifecycle for the solutions they buy. In response, Cisco and its partners need to transform to meet this change.

For some partners, the need to transform is clear, but it can be like the elephant in the room—a topic that is always getting pushed to the next quarter or season. And while transformation can seem daunting, remember that you don’t need to transform everything at once. Just start with one or two motions like the ones I just discussed.

And stay tuned, for in my next blog I’ll share three more helpful ways to renew and transform your business.

Learn more about Partner Transformation!


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Bryan Bedford

Global Industry Director: Retail, Hospitality, Sports, Media and Entertainment

Global Partner Organization