What has us excited after Partner Summit 2018

It’s been three weeks since we wrapped up Partner Summit in Las Vegas and I am still buzzing from all of the energy and excitement from that week. For those of you that attended in person or joined us virtually, I hope you are still feeling it too. With all the exciting news across the business, we are in a uniquely opportunity-rich time. Together, we are now able to guide our customers by meeting their collaboration needs faster and more precisely than ever before.

Here’s a roundup of the top three collaboration highlights I heard from our partners at the event.

1. Partners, meet Amy Chang

For many of our partners, Partner Summit was their first opportunity to meet Amy Chang, our new SVP of the Collaboration Technology Group. Since joining our Collaboration team in May, Amy hadn’t yet had the opportunity to take stage at a large partner event.

Her introduction to our partners did not disappoint. From the moment she took stage, she made it clear there is no Cisco without partners. And you are our route to market. Her enthusiasm and passion is contagious. Many of you have told me how excited you are to see her at the helm of the collaboration business.

In case you missed it, here are some of the areas of growth she’s targeting in fiscal year 2019.

  • Addressing the needs of new open workspaces and smaller meeting rooms with our comprehensive huddle space portfolio for any budget.
  • Driving partners to capitalize on selling phones and calling, in the cloud or on-premises. And to take advantage of customer refresh cycles occurring now and the upcoming portfolio enhancements as we continue to integrate BroadSoft into Cisco.
  • Maximizing contact center sales and value with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
  • Creating more partner opportunities to build APIs and hooks into our platform, increasing value and stickiness with customers. This is a huge revenue opportunity for our solutions partners.

Amy is brilliant, energetic and fiercely determined. It’s no wonder she was named one of Forbes America’s Top 50 Women in Tech. I look forward to watching her take Cisco Collaboration to new heights.

2. Big news for small meeting spaces

At Partner Summit, we announced the complete huddle space device portfolio. It includes our Webex Share, Webex Room Kit Mini, and Webex Board 55. I had partners tell me the Webex Room Kit Mini closes the gap in addressing the needs of customers with small or open meeting spaces. Now your customers can have one consistent, simple, and scalable experience from the huddle space, to the boardroom, and beyond.

With Cisco’s huddle space solution, you get…

  • One powerful, simple experience from the pocket to the boardroom
  • One simple setup and management across all device types
  • The industry’s only devices that count the number of people in the room to provide actionable insights into space usage

Visit our Partner Community for more huddle solution resources.

3. Delivering Customer Value

You heard a common theme throughout the entire event. Our leaders discussed the importance of software, recurring revenue, and managing the customer lifecycle. We are in a transformation: our customers are shifting their software licensing from capital expense (capex) to operating expense (opex). Lifecycle management services are increasingly important for you to differentiate and deliver business outcomes for your customers. What’s in it for you? You secure monthly recurring revenue – the gift that keeps on giving in the form of long-term, predictable growth. And the increased value you brought your customers means more expand and renew opportunity for you.

Many of our partners selling collaboration have a strong foothold building a lifecycle practice. Several are folding these services into their standard offers. This presents huge opportunities for a return on investment.

Don’t just take my word for it… Core BTS is a great example of this. They are a customer-centric technology consulting organization dedicated to transforming IT experiences and delivering value to clients. As a Certified Cisco Gold Partner, they’ve taken the steps to monetize their lifecycle practice. And it’s paying them back. They are building long-term relationships with their customers as a trusted lifecycle advisor. And growing customer loyalty by delivering value, not just technology. In turn, they have been able to increase their margins and create recurring revenue.

Watch the Core BTS Lifecycle Advisor Success Story

Connect with Core BTS using our Partner Locator.

Plans are already underway for next year’s Partner Summit 2019 in Las Vegas and I cannot wait to see more of you there. Thank you for being the most important part of Cisco’s sales force and Partner Summit.

Good Selling!