Co-authored by Andrew Sage, VP, Global Distribution Sales and SMB Sales
The convergence of people, technology, and places powers our world, increasing the need for technology solutions that bridge people, innovation, and cultures together.
Cisco’s purpose is to power an inclusive future for all and hybrid work is opening equal experiences for everyone. Today’s hybrid work is about more than solving remote work challenges. It’s about taking advantage of opportunities to empower teams at home, in the office, or anywhere. Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) recognize this with 93% of SMBs ranking hybrid workplace solutions as a top three priority.
Cisco has the solutions, technology, and resources to help customers focus on getting work done instead of worrying about where and when that work gets done. Cisco Distributors and Partners turn these solutions into outcomes for our customers. Cisco’s Hybrid work solution helps workers connect no matter if they are on-site, off-site, or anywhere in between while priced to fit the budgets of large corporations and small businesses alike.
John: To help me share the excitement of this opportunity, I’d like to welcome Andrew Sage, VP, Global Distribution Sales and SMB Sales to join me.
Andrew: Thank you, John, for the invitation to join you on this platform and specifically for this opportunity to talk about Hybrid Work and the SMB market.
John: I’m glad you could join me to dive deeper into this topic for our Distributors and Partners, especially with your expertise in SMB. I’d like to just jump right in if that’s okay with you. When they think of Hybrid Work, what do you want to come to mind?
Andrew: When asked about our solution for Hybrid Work, no matter if you’re a customer, partner, or one of our valued – distributors, I want you to think of four key traits: inclusivity, flexibility, secure, and managed.
John: That seems easy enough, but why each of those?
Andrew: All of them are key to optimizing the hybrid work experience. I’d like to start with inclusive. Hybrid Work is opening equal experiences for everyone regardless of whether you are in the office, on the road, or in a coffee shop. We’ve all been the one dialed in from the road and then everyone forgets they’re there, but we have solved this by creating a compelling experience no matter where or how you joined the meeting. As you mentioned earlier, this solution doesn’t just fit the budget for large corporations, but also our SMB market. So, if you are looking to open your own business or join a large company, you’ll be able to get work done regardless of the location.
John: I couldn’t agree more, especially with how closely it matches Cisco’s goal to positively impact people across the globe.
Andrew: Absolutely. The next trait to take into consideration is flexibility. This solution adapts to any work style, role, or environment. Anurag Agrawal from Techaisle recently shared this insight with us. “SMBs are tired of point solutions. They too want a connected enterprise and are looking at long term growth rates. They are investing in business continuity.” (Source: Techaisle SMB and Midmarket Firms Business and IT challenges, Technology Priorities November 2022) So, by offering our SMBs with a solution that gives them the flexibility to get work done when, how, and where they need, we are giving them the business longevity they are longing for.
John: One of the things I think drives the most value for a customer is having that insight into the security of their apps, networks, users, and more.
Andrew: That’s right, 83% of SMBs say cybersecurity is their #1 IT challenge. Cisco can provide customers with the right security that meets not only the needs of the company, but also their users, apps, and more. In fact, Cisco solutions are uniquely capable because of how they integrate seamlessly between networks, collaboration tools, cloud, and security needs. It’s rare to find a single management platform for all those things and one that has an offering for the SMB in addition to large corporations.
John: The longer I’ve been in my role here in Americas Distribution, the more I’ve grown to understand the true value Cisco provides to customers who need to manage their IT solutions with a small IT team or even without it. How does the Hybrid Work solution aid these teams from a management standpoint?
Andrew: For our SMB customers, we must be able to deliver modern infrastructure with frictionless administration. Building the workspace of the future can sound a bit daunting and complicated, especially for the IT constrained SMB. Time is a value commodity regardless of whether you have a 500+ headcount or are managing everything as a team of two. This solution, because it’s managed over the cloud, is easy to set-up and manage from wherever you are working.
Management is key and receiving the right type of support is on the top of the SMB priority list. This involves not only supporting the well-being of the customer’s employees, but also the well-being of the customer’s business. Anurag noted “87% of SMBs are seeking channel partner advice. Trust priorities rise to the top.” SMBs are increasing outsourcing IT management to Managed Services Providers. In fact, 82% of all SMB spending on cyber security will go to MSPs and SIs by 2027! (Source: Techaisle SMB and Midmarket IT Security Adoption Trends Survey, 2023.) The role partners can play for SMBs does not stop there. SMBs will increasingly turn to channel partners to get strategic help beyond IT support, including help with growing their business and driving more revenue.
John: Before you go, I’d like to talk a few minutes about the opportunity for our distributors and their partners.
Andrew: This is a critical time and opportunity for partners to deepen their relationship and footprint in both enterprise and growing SMB accounts. Partners can increase their revenue and profitability selling the Hybrid Work solution to SMBs through simplified quoting, pricing, and flexibility.
- Flexibility: No matter what your partners are currently selling, this solution works because it’s pre-packaged and ready-to-transact and can complement existing offerings.
- Simplified quoting and pricing: With pre-defined, approved pricing and discounting, selling this solution becomes simple.
I really appreciate you taking some time to walk through this solution and benefits with us, Andrew. There is a vast opportunity for Distributors and Partners to share this secure, resilient, and seamless solution to their enterprise and SMB customers.
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