In case you missed Partner Summit last week, we just want to reiterate: your customers heavily prefer to consume technology as managed outcomes!
We are full steam ahead in supporting our credo The Age of the Partner where vendors, partners, and customers all work together with a consistent set of strategic business imperatives rather than disparate technology stacks. The time is now, and the path forward is through the continued relationship we have built with our partners. Success in this new age of digital transformation necessitates collective evolution, both for Cisco and our partners.
Our strategy for success, guiding our evolution in Partner Managed Services, is centered on our 3 Ps: Platform, Preference, and Performance.
While we introduced this virtually at Partner Summit 2021, we’ve matured it considerably since then and would like to update our partner community on how we are employing this strategy to successfully deliver for our partners in this new age.
Our strategy starts by making sure our platforms are capable of best-in-class managed services delivery for partners across Cisco’s architectures. We appreciate there are key technological capabilities partners need to select a technology as a managed services delivery platform:
- Telemetry to feed into your Operational Support Systems
- Operational capabilities like single sign-on and role-based access control to deliver cost effectively at scale
- APIs that enable workflow automation for billing, provisioning, and reconciliation
- User Interfaces that provide intuitive and compelling provider operations and end-user experiences
- Integrations with leading systems like ServiceNow, Snow, and ConnectWise
Our Partner Managed Services team has collaborated with key engineering teams within Cisco to develop a framework designed to articulate these technological requirements through an internal scorecard approach that we coined Minimal Viable Partner Requirements or MVPR. This framework facilitates an open, bidirectional, and iterative dialog with product engineering to form the basis of assessing and developing the technology and the Platform that orchestrates and manages it to meet Provider Partner expectations.
Partner Managed Ready Offer Catalog
We then add to the Platform the elements our Provider Partners need to build managed services with plenty of room to differentiate based on target segments, intellectual property, commercial terms, and/or the type of experience they want to deliver. Our Partner Managed Offer Management team coordinates content and tools aimed to address key care-abouts of core MSP functions:
- Product Management needs example service descriptions, market pricing, aligned buying programs and business case tools.
- Service Delivery requires Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) templates, lab environments, and technical training.
- Sales benefits from playbooks and positioning decks.
- Marketing uses messaging blocks and templated digital marketing assets.
- Customer Success leverages API guided for adoption measurements and user guides to enable customers on using the higher-value functions.
- Operations requires ordering guides and license management guides to support their role.
These are some of the assets we bring to our partners to help them move faster and be more successful with service creation and go-to-market than if Cisco just sold them technology and expected them to figure it out.
A few examples of Partner Managed Ready Offers from our catalog include:
- Managed SD-WAN powered by Viptela and/or by Meraki, enables partners to securely interconnect branches, campuses, data centers, and multi-cloud environments.
- Managed SASE allows partners to build on their cloud-delivered virtual fabric and intersect secure access for users and devices by delivering policy controlled secure access to applications and networks.
- Managed Webex Collaboration provides a cloud-hosted, video-centric, unified collaboration solution which can be delivered over service provider partner networks and is backed by partner managed services to enable and enrich work in a post-pandemic era.
- Managed Hybrid Cloud allows partners to deliver application environments that feel like the public cloud but reside where customers want, and often at much better long-term economics, blending cloud-like cost efficiencies with on-premises performance and security.
We recognize the need to simply the partner experience, and we are working hard to earn your preference as your managed services technology partner daily.
This starts by offering you choice and flexibility across two software buying programs designed specifically for managed service practices.
Managed Services Buying Programs
The first, Managed Services Enterprise Agreement (MSEA), is built on our standard Enterprise Agreement construct, but with MSEA, the partner owns the entitlement and controls the terms with their customers. Partners can enable as-a-Service packaging while getting all EA benefits like True Forward and great Cisco field alignment.
Cisco’s Managed Service License Agreement (MSLA) accounts for variable scale, seasonal demand, and dynamic user counts by providing post-paid utility-like consumption for 17 Cisco software products and growing. This enables additional flexibility for partners and their customers to address multiple business needs across different scenarios.
Payment Solutions Portfolio
We also offer a rich portfolio of payment solutions to help with business concerns and those “good problems” that come with success like cash flow, credit lines, environmental and sustainability targets, and cost-to-revenue alignment as partners continue to grow their managed services practices:
- Total technology: Cisco Easy Pay, Cisco Lifecycle Pay
- Software: Cisco Enterprise Agreement (EA) Pay, Cisco Partner Pay
- Services-focused: Cisco Multi-Year Services Pay – Attach and Renew, Cisco Partner Pay
- Consumption: Cisco+ Hybrid Cloud, Cisco Open Pay
- Circular IT: Cisco Green Pay, Cisco Lifecycle Pay, Cisco Lifecycle Pay for Secure Firewall
Additionally, we have reinvented the partner-led sales model for the Age of the Partner through our Partner Managed Success Framework:
- Offer Development begins with the development of a compelling partner managed offer that enables our Provider Partners to address market opportunities with great technology and the content and tools needed for success by key partner roles
- Partner Engagement allows us to assess and analyze if a particular opportunity is aligned to both Cisco and our partner, or we may collaborate to determine which of several opportunities to pursue
- Service Creation occurs when a partner formally builds a new service with Cisco support in the form of templates, best practices, cutting edge market research, and best-in-class expertise
- Sales Acceleration gives us an opportunity collaborate on sales campaigns with potential support via Cisco Provider Market Development Funds (MDFs)
- Sales Execution provides access to a seasoned team of sales capture professionals to help our partners with operationalizing and scaling sales pipelines
- Partner Success provides touch points along the lifecycles to help partners strengthen customer value across the lifecycle, find adjacent opportunities, and prepare for renewals
Performance is the transformation throttle. Cisco is continually looking at the opportunity and determining how we can best help accelerate the pace of partner success. We are incentivizing partners for growth in strategic areas, backed by industry-leading market research, using the Provider role of the Partner Program as the value exchange fulcrum.
Over the past two years, we’ve evolved the Cisco Partner Program substantially by simplifying over a dozen programs into a single, flexibly structured program centered on delivering value to customers. Partners can participate in one or more roles—Integrator, Developer, Advisor, and Provider —each at whatever level fits your business: Select, Premier, or Gold. Additionally, we have focused on aligning our Cisco Powered Services with our Partner Managed Ready Offers and evolving our benefits to suit the Age of the Partner.
We’re working hard to evolve our approach to this critical RTM to give partners a full arsenal of tools to succeed with their managed services practices. As the market evolves, Cisco is evolving and bringing our partners alongside, so no one gets left behind. Our belief is that by bringing these three elements – Platform, Preference and Performance – to bear simultaneously, we’re poised for mutual success in a very bright future. Let’s own it together!
Learn more about Partner Managed Services
Check out our Partner Summit Business Impact Session
Ready to connect? Reach out to us at: PartnerManagedServices@cisco.com
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