“Cisco has always been and will always be partner-led,” Jeff Sharritts, EVP and Chief Customer and Partner Officer for Cisco, proudly declared at the beginning of his presentation during the second-day keynote from Partner Summit 2022. Throughout the two days of keynotes and breakout sessions, a heavy emphasis was put on the value that partners bring to the table, with day one being all about the Age of the Partner. Amidst the challenges of the past few years, partners have risen to provide innovative solutions and an enhanced customer experience. Fran Katsoudas, Thimaya Subaiya, Denzil Samuels, and Oliver Tuszik were among the Cisco leaders who shared insight on how partners can succeed with the new customer experience during the second day’s keynote.
Embracing Digitization and a New Customer Experience
March 2020 activated a new type of customer with new challenges, risks, and complexities. As different countries went into lockdown, IT departments were immediately hit with new demands and problems, and over the last three years, the question has turned to how can organizations manage for the future. This is where partners step in to provide the solutions that can help organizations adapt to these rapid transformations. Oliver Tuszik, Senior Vice President, Partner Sales, and General Manager, Routes to Market for Cisco, stressed the need to shift to a focus on business outcomes to measure success – how can we provide customers with the solutions they truly need?
Despite partial shipments and supply issues being the most prevalent problem for partners over the past year, it has just meant further strategizing. Many partners have turned to drive software adoption as a solution that doesn’t rely on shipping. As partners continue to embrace the new customer experience, Tuszik said the focus for partners should be on three things. He said partners should be prepared to choose what to focus their business on and how best to deliver products/services, to adapt and transform, and to align early with Cisco to receive necessary support and resources.
Power in Purpose
Being partner led is only part of Cisco’s core; another distinguishing aspect at the heart of Cisco and its partners is the focus placed on purpose. In his keynote on Partner Summit’s first day, CEO Chuck Robbins proudly remarked how Cisco’s purpose is something that every single employee knows and tries to incorporate into his or her job. “Powering an inclusive generation for all” is not just a phrase to hang in an office. “There is power in purpose, so let’s own it together,” Fran Katsoudas, EVP and Chief People Policy and Purpose Officer at Cisco, said during her keynote.
Cisco and its partners are committed to purpose, but so are the customers. Katsoudas shared a recent survey stating 66 percent of customers consider a company’s purpose when making a transaction. Thus, it’s imperative to have the purpose included in a business strategy. Right now, the most strategic, green opportunity for all of us lies in hybrid work. Katsoudas said, “This is our opportunity to change the world of work together.” With government agencies committing $150-160 billion in 2023 to sustainability, providing the solutions that enable hybrid work and efficiency will be important solutions for partners to push in the next year. In the end, supporting sustainability and inclusion leads to meaningful change that is also good for business.
CX Cloud and Partner Lifecycle Service
The focus for partners is on embracing the new customer experience and figuring out how to enhance it. Partners are not alone in this. TD SYNNEX and Cisco are constantly at work listening to partners and finding ways to simplify and assist with processes and delivery of products and services so partners can find success. “Your growth is important to us,” Thimaya Subaiya, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Customer Experience at Cisco, said during his presentation. Two recent platforms that aim to help partners and add value for customers are the CX Cloud and Partner Lifecycles Services.
The partner-focused CX Cloud is improving the customer experience by accelerating success, anticipating risk, and increasing agility. The Choctaw Nation in southeast Oklahoma, for example, is using CX Cloud to support better community, healthcare, and social services. One of the most evident areas of development for Choctaw Nation since implementing the new platform has been reducing the time it takes to manage vulnerabilities by 96 percent. The next step from CX Cloud is the global availability of PX Cloud in March 2023, which offers abilities to co-sell and embed accelerators.
Partner Lifecycle Services, which launched globally on May 16, 2022, saw almost 600 partners register in the first six months. This additional advanced support focuses on allowing partners the opportunity to increase choice and relevance while differentiating brand and expertise. The goal with additions like CX Cloud and Partner Lifecycle Services is to provide resources and tools that benefit partners.
Despite all the changes in the past few years, there have been many positive developments. For partners, now is the time to embrace new customer experiences and adapt to new customer needs. With the help of TD SYNNEX and Cisco, partners have the support and tools to transform the world.
If you missed the day one keynote from Partner Summit 2022, check out some of the key takeaways here, and check back for part two from the day two keynote.