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Change is inevitable, but it’s how we adapt to that change that makes the difference. At the second keynote of Partner Summit 2022, key leaders, including Cisco’s Scott Herren, Patrick Morrisey, Carrie Palin, and Jeff Sharritts, discussed some of the significant changes impacting partners this past year, and how partners have and can overcome these new challenges in a changing market.

Evolving and Adapting to a Changing Market

It doesn’t take an economist to recognize that we are living in truly unprecedented times. Scott Herren, EVP and CFO at Cisco, said he has never seen as much change in the economy as he has in the past few years. Still, despite the market fluctuations, significant progress and gains were made over the last year thanks to the tremendous efforts of partners. During the keynote, Herren shared how this success is measured based on three areas: ARR (annual recurring revenue), subscription revenue growth, and renewal rates.

At the end of the fourth quarter, Cisco’s ARR was at $23 billion. The annualized value of current subscriptions results in faster and more predictable revenue for partners. Revenue from subscriptions was up 44 percent this year. The goal for next year is to reach 50 percent. Renewal rates are holding steady as partners work with customers to adopt and use products to enhance their businesses. Herren emphasized the importance for TD SYNNEX and Cisco to provide the support and resources to encourage partner success; “Together, we have a great opportunity. Let’s own it.”

New Triangle Offense Helps Partners Score

With new challenges emerging each year, partners need to stay informed and on top of their game. Patrick Morrisey, Senior Vice President for Global Solutions, at Cisco, shared a new triangle offense strategy that is currently being implemented. Having recognized an untapped potential to collaborate, this strategy will lead to positive changes. The idea is that everyone will benefit when partner teams work closely with specialist teams and portfolio teams “to approach our partners, to create new offers, and to capture new routes to market.”

Along with this strategy, Carrie Palin, Senior Vice President and CMO, at Cisco, also highlighted the desperate need to modernize processes. Collaboration plays a huge role in this, but processes and marketing need to connect with the newer generations, who are now gaining more leadership and decision-making roles. The company has begun this by focusing on music in its marketing; a brand-new Cisco commercial will premiere soon that is trendsetting, fun, and music filled. We already represent an important and trusted brand, but the goal now is to continue to build connections and relevancy.

Working Together to Reimagine the Customer Experience

As TD SYNNEX partners look to the future, Jeff Sharritts, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer and Partner Officer, at Cisco, emphasized the need to redefine best-in-class value. While the past few years have not been without challenges, we are all learning from the past to make improvements. Although Sharritts acknowledged that at times it may have felt as if the team was not listening to partners, partners have been heard, and that is reflective of current and planned changes. The opportunity has never been larger to enhance the way we operate and how Cisco, TD SYNNEX, their partners, and customers all engage with each other. The biggest takeaway, as Sharritts said, is “we don’t let our customers fail.”

To best support customers and partners, Sharritts laid out Cisco’s current GTM strategy. The three parts of the strategy that Cisco is focusing on to improve in a changing market include:

  1. Meeting our customers where they are – providing choices as well as expertise, coverage, and accelerating routes to market.
  2. Redefining what winning means at Cisco, for customers, and partners – building a clear sales and customer experience approach.
  3. Improving selling and partner experiences – aligning incentive plans and improving tools, processes, and platforms.

Through it all, we must work together to reimagine the customer experience and continue to find success.

Conclusion

The last year has been full of challenges and plenty of change, but partners who evolve and adapt to the change are finding the most success. As partners, we can provide the best customer experience by modernizing processes and embracing the new customer experience.

To learn more about how partners can succeed in a changing market, watch the full day two keynote here.