As part of the EDGE360 series on 2020 predictions and innovations, we continued our conversation with Jay Denton, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Comstor North America. Denton predicts that 2020 will open the door for the biggest technology trends of the year.
According to Denton, in his 2019 reflections podcast, he shared that the Comstor alignment with Cisco helped Comstor grow its business and helped the company grow its value-added reseller (VAR) revenue. Denton says that 2020 will be a year of continuation of that growth trend and explains that the EDGE program and its predictable pathways to success (engage, develop, grow, and extend) will be instrumental in that growth.
“We have already begun to see a growth trend that continues in the areas that matter the most–creating new Cisco resellers and helping existing resellers,” Denton shared. “We have been very successful at recruiting and onboarding net-new Cisco resellers in the space. For our existing resellers, we have focused on helping them grow, become more relevant, and compete for larger deals.”
Denton ascribes this success for VARs to the “daily grind” of working the business, looking for opportunities and being competitive. He said that he expects that rhythm to continue and mature along with a sustained focus on the customer experience (CX) lifecycle, which Denton spoke about in his last interview with EDGE360.
“Cisco is continuing to build out toolsets and platforms to monitor and manage their CX business, and we are right there with them,” Denton said. “As they continue that journey … building the CX motion from scratch, we are seeing more than our fair share of attention there. It dovetails perfectly with our EDGE go-to-market.”
The EDGE methodology has been Comstor’s approach for several years and has evolved into a proven, prescriptive pathway of activities and milestones that yield results, according to Denton. EDGE is repeatable and can be applied to any tech architecture that Cisco and Comstor offer.
In 2020, Denton said the technologies that are likely to impact Comstor’s EDGE focus include artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), IoT and the “Simple IT” of the Meraki portfolio. NVIDIA brings the opportunity in AI and ML to Cisco, but those technology implementations are expensive, so not every customer will be a candidate.
“Another opportunity is that the Meraki portfolio continues to expand, and the message of ‘Simple IT,’ especially in the mid-market and small business space, is a good entry into Cisco without having to go straight to the ‘big iron.’”
The Simple IT message and Meraki portfolio provide a much easier on-ramp with customers, because it consolidates switching, routing, and wireless in a dashboard that makes it easy to manage and consume data. Denton said that as it continues to expand to include other technologies, such as mobile gateways, it will be even more compelling to smaller resellers.
AI, ML, IoT and Simple IT, along with Comstor’s integration into Cisco CX, and its continued focus on keeping VARs competitive through programs like EDGE are the elements that will contribute to 2020 as a year of continued growth for Comstor and its partners.
Listen to our whole conversation with Denton here: