The EDGE360 team is kicking off 2020 by continuing our outreach to IT channel veterans about how the channel continues to evolve to support the entire ecosystem, from manufacturer to value added reseller and end-customer. In this podcast, Joe Vlajcic, Director of Cisco Customer Experience for Westcon-Comstor, shares his take on why customer experience (CX) moved from being a “buzzword” to changing Cisco’s go-to-market strategy in 2019 and how Comstor supports that effort now and into the future.
According to Vlajcic, until 2019 CX was not well-defined, but it has become an important differentiator for Cisco, Comstor, and Comstor partners. “In the Cisco context, CX is about driving business value from technology investments and creating true business outcomes for the end customer,” Vlajcic shared.
Today, customers want to know if technology is going to drive increased revenue, save costs, reduce risks, and improve the cash flow of an organization. Those are the true business outcomes that technology should bring, according to Vlajcic.
In the past, technology sales were about hardware. Today, technology investments are software-driven and consumed as a service. CX in this context, according to Vlajcic, “is the idea that if the customer is handing over a ‘bag of money’ to a reseller or vendor, they should be able to get a financially measurable ROI. In this environment, VARs need to be able to connect IT investments to profit and loss impacts,” he said.
Vlajcic goes on to explain that it is incumbent on VARs to make a business case for technology investments, and Comstor is ready to help them. The company’s biggest achievement in 2019 was to quickly follow Cisco’s lead in CX and to earn its Cisco CX specialization badge in order to offer the full lifecycle of Cisco CX offerings, including mentoring and offering CX as a service for partners who aren’t ready to make the leap. Comstor moved so quickly because it already had customer experience at the core of its EDGE program and other offerings.
Looking forward, Vlajcic sees 2020 as the year of driving outcomes from the partner CX practice building that took place in 2019.
“We have experienced great interest in CX from partners, so we focused on learning that practice and growing our team. 2020 will be a busy year, in which we will continue to build out Comstor capabilities and look to scale Cisco’s vision as much as we can.”
Listen to the full podcast here.