In my last blog, I communicated how customer expectations are rising, and as partners, we need to rise to the occasion too. Partners that understand and embrace this shift will step ahead and thrive in the years to come.

During the weeks leading up to Partner Summit, the team and I talked to dozens of partners to help shape our new Lifecycle-first approach.  It was a busy week but we finally launched this approach at Partner Summit 2018 in Las Vegas.  In case you missed it, here is a quick summary to catch you up.  Additionally, I included opportunities for you to hear from your fellow Cisco partners that are already on this journey with us.

We kicked things off early Monday morning with a couple AUX meetings. We were able to preview some critical content with partners that were looking for the leg up in driving their services, customer success and software businesses. I enjoyed talking to partners throughout the day who were already leading the way and shared their excitement about where we plan to go, together.

Here are two partners who are living and breathing this Lifecycle-first approach:


See how ePlus has already built deeper customer relationships by helping their customers at every stage of the lifecycle. This has enabled them to accelerate renewals, customer loyalty and business growth.


See how Data #3 has made building a Customer Success practice a strategic priority.  The increased engagement with their customers has enabled them to differentiate their business resulting in increased customer loyalty and revenues.


On Mainstage, Maria Martinez, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Experience Officer, redeclared our commitment to you and how, together, Cisco + our Partners will deliver the best customer experience in the industry; moving customers from choosing to using to loving Cisco and our partners.

To support our lifecycle-first approach, we announced our new customer experience portfolio, an evolution of our services portfolio, that delivers new offers around the lifecycle capabilities of our partners. Offers that partners can now resell or jointly deliver with opportunities for partners at every touchpoint.

You can find Maria’s keynote here and make sure to pay attention to the video highlighting Netcloud located in Switzerland that Maria played during her session.  Our new portfolio will be rolled out in a phased approach so together, we can grow and deliver a better experience to our customers.

During our Impact Session: “Grow Predictable, Profitable Revenue Streams and Differentiate Yourself with Lifecycle Services,”we announced new roles that will allow you to resell, jointly deliver, and build your own services to differentiate your business.  In addition, we also announced brand new offers to accelerate Cisco DNA adoption.  Check out the recording here.

During this session, we highlighted the lifecycle first approach that our partner, Conscia, has driven to help their customers adopt their Cisco solutions, maximize business outcomes, and grow their professional services.

Marc Surplus, Sandra Flinders and I took a deeper dive into the new Customer Experience Specialization and incentives during the Impact Session: “Accelerating Transformation with Cisco Partner Programs,” to share how we will helpenable partners to build industry-recognized customer success practices.   Although we didn’t share a partner video, I had a lot of fun taking the partners for a drive around the racetrack to help them understand how they can capture new opportunities with differentiated lifecycle offers at every pitstop.

In every session, we emphasized that we’d provide our partnersthe time needed to transform their business model to a lifecycle first approach.  Cisco is committed to enabling our partners to build industry leading customer success practices. So, what should you do?  Take advantage of these resources available today:

  1. Success Hub, an online resource center that provides insights and guidance to help you on your journey to developing a winning customer success practice.
  2. Lifecycle Advantage, an award-winning, digital, customer engagement platform that promotes adoption, simplifies renewals and upsells to high solution values.

Through FY19, we will continue to focus and invest in the Lifecycle Advisor program until the new Customer Experience Specialization becomes available in the second-half of FY19.

Leading together, Cisco + Partners can create unmatched innovation and solve our customers’ greatest challenges, all while delivering the best customer experience.   Overall, it was great to connect with so many friends, new and old, about this mission. I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity!