The formula for our success is actually quite simple. When our partners win, Cisco wins. OK, there’s a little more to this, but in essence our partners win because you’re listening to the needs of our customers, because you are developing innovative solutions that complement Cisco technology and services, and because you are expanding your edge and delivering unique value that sets you apart.
So, when I was recognized by CRN as the top channel sales leader of 2020, I instinctively had to ask why? It’s not about me, it’s about you — our partners!
Don’t get me wrong, I am humbled by this honor and proud to be among such a prestigious group of colleagues. And while I’m one face of Cisco’s partner organization, this recognition is really more deserving to the thousands of Cisco employees who make our partners’ success and profitability their number one priority.
But the real question I was searching for was – why Cisco? What is it that we’re doing that makes us different and deserving of this recognition? The more I thought about it, I believe it comes down to three main reasons:
1. It starts with our heritage. For more than 21 years, partners have been engrained in our culture and are part of every Cisco employee’s DNA. This is most apparent with Cisco’s partner sales teams who, while wearing multiple hats, are on the frontlines with our partners day in and day out. One minute they’re helping a partner close a deal; the next minute they’re planning joint marketing. Tomorrow they’ll do lead generation; the day after that they’ll help build a managed service offer, etc., etc. It’s no wonder our people consistently get some of the highest marks in our partner surveys.
2. Leading industry transitions and managing headwinds. We have a proven track record of not only staying in front of technology shifts but influencing them to deliver better outcomes for our customers and better business for partners. From switching, VoIP and unified communications to UCS, integrated security, and Intent-based Networking, Cisco has forged new market opportunities and enabled our partners to win along with us. The same is true for unpredictable headwinds that we inevitably face, including trade wars, Brexit or the current pandemic. We believe it’s our responsibility that partners are prepared and ready for whatever the future brings. Our partner network is not only the biggest and most stable, it is also agile and flexible!
3. Our partners, themselves. I know it sounds obvious, but it’s true. Cisco partners are in a unique category and we couldn’t receive CRN’s recognition without you. Beyond simply reselling a box, you imagine new possibilities for our customers and make them happen. You are expanding on Cisco’s solutions with you unique IP and services that both simplify IT customers’ workloads and deliver business outcomes to line-of-business customers. You are building new software-based business models with more recurring revenue. You are delivering more value to customers at each point in the lifecycle. To put it simply, you are Performing and Transforming.
As I think about the CRN recognition with this perspective, it all makes sense. When our partners win, we win.
Thanks to CRN for this incredible recognition. You have fueled my passion for our partners even more. Being #1 means no time to rest! In this current time of unpredictable market change, we will continue to work hard to earn our partners’ loyalty every day.