Partners crave speed. Customers want business outcomes. Distributors respond to both in a big way.
Understanding what partners and customers need to succeed is THE driving factor in my job. When partners and customers succeed, Cisco and our distributors succeed. The key to ensuring this is simple – evolve before the industry does. My team is dedicated to investing in better ways to capture market transitions before they happen.
The technology industry is built on fast paced innovation. Such speed often creates a volatile paradigm shift for business models and companies. The role of Distribution is pivotal. We must find the balance of transformation and execution. This means that we are taking the calculated risks and testing new business models to give our distributors the greatest opportunity to be successful.
How is Cisco playing a differentiator role today? By creating greater leverage and scale to drive a dynamic value exchange for our partners, our distributors and ultimately our customers. This is centered on a driving a combination of traditional capabilities with services and more focused high touch enablement exercises than ever before.
As the channel evolves, the distributor role is crucial. We are committed to our Recruit, Enable, and Grow (REG) model, as we see immense value in staying committed to our core strengths, while innovating WITH our distributors to capitalize on new markets and technologies that are accelerating our top priorities in FY17 – Security, Software and refreshing the install base.
We are investing in these three key areas because they represent big opportunities for our distributors. This commitment is predicated around our goal to crack the code – unlocking the Power of Distribution.
As we move into FY17, Security is undoubtedly one of the most significant investment areas across Cisco. Last week, Global Partner Organization VP Wendy Bahr wrote a blog that highlighted the great recognition we’ve received in the security space and the need to continue driving down this great path moving forward.
As our partners work to make Security the #1 practice in the industry, they will need support. The type of support I’m alluding to comes from our distributors and their ability to provide security resources.
From the ability to deliver network assessments to creating a fully integrated security network design, the evolution of security is moving fast. Couple this with the capability to conduct risk assessments and translate the findings into actionable recommendations and you have industry advantage. This as the proliferation of mobile devices grows exponentially, and the complexity of protecting such a wide array of devices becomes unmanageable without an integrated, end-to-end security strategy.
It is a fundamental priority to ensure that businesses are secure and protected against threats. Our customers demand the most innovative products to enable them to speed up time to market while ensuring that they’ve taken every step to protect their assets with a strong security strategy. Our distributors and partners make this possible with equally innovative programs like Security POVs and pre-sales security design support.
The name of the game in software is Opportunity. A few months ago, I read a great piece by Jason Gallo, Cisco Global Director of Enterprise Networking and Software. He covered maximizing profitability, a differentiated customer experience and the massive opportunity around digitization. For channel partners and distributors alike, software businesses will thrive as Cisco embarks on executing the largest enablement campaigns we have ever run around software with Cisco ONE.
Our distributors have extensive experience selling software and in turn, are amplifying this through education and new capabilities so ensure their partners have the right conversations with their customers. This leads to business outcomes, with an end goal for our distributors to engage several thousand partners, helping them get up to speed on the software opportunity with Cisco.
How are we doing so far? The results are staggering – Cisco ONE penetration through Distribution in the first quarter is up over 30% compared to last year. Let’s keep the momentum going.
Refreshed Install Base
A few months ago, we came out with a sales campaign focused on refreshing our core. The campaign was targeted at helping our customers transformation to digital by building an infrastructure that is geared towards today’s need for faster innovation, reducing cost and complexity and lowering security risks.
Since then, we have seen strong momentum across our customers in the different regions with strong proof points: our Meraki cloud managed IT business is growing 50% year over year and new product innovations are coming out on a regular basis. We have over 11,000 customers buying Cisco ONE software, which provides ongoing software innovations in a simple software consumption model.
The value of digitizing the business is more important than ever as more and more companies see technology as not just an enabler but also a differentiator. I encourage you to work with our teams to make this a priority for you in FY17.
Stay tuned for more updates to support this acceleration over the next few months.
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