What Cisco Partners Have Accomplished in the “Year of the Pivot”


Editor’s note: This article was penned by Barry Landis, Cisco Distribution Software and Services Manager. Landis reflects on important milestones for the Cisco community in Q1 2021 and the ongoing impact COVID-19 has had on technology adoption and adaptation throughout 2020 for Cisco partners. Read below for his thoughts on the importance of partnership and the ability to pivot moving into a new year.

As I reflect on 2020, and search for a better term for “dumpster fire,” I have come to realize more and more that 2020 was the year of the pivot. This year, the greatest growth and encouragement has come from the many stories of people finding opportunities in unexpected places.

One of my favorite examples comes from my friend Gina. Gina loves leading Zumba classes and worked at a restaurant before the pandemic. Her professional world collapsed as the shutdown and social distancing set in. After a week of rightful despair, she re-invented herself. She launched a very successful online fitness class and is now making more money hosting live WebEx dance classes than she was pre-COVID, and she’s still getting to do what she loves.

Gina is just one of many examples that come to mind for me. I have also seen bartenders opening virtual bartending classes and corporate mixology events. Painting companies are now sending kits out with canvas and paints so your team can meet virtually for a wine and paint night at home…together.

Companies all over are reinventing themselves to be relevant in this crazy, separate but together, sweatpants and button-up shirt, remote work environment. And our technology is helping facilitate that change for our customers. In 2020, we saw technology adoption at a scale no one could have ever forecasted. This need for collaboration and secure remote network has catapulted businesses across the globe into the future.

For Cisco, we made the pivot to the cloud with software and reoccurring offers. Our software sales are exploding, and partners who are embracing this change are thriving.

Here are a few of the highlights from Cisco’s Q1:

  • Total software sales were up eight percent year-over-year in the Americas and up $2.9B year-over-year worldwide
  • Software made up 37 percent of our total product mix
  • 81 percent of our total software sales were sold as subscriptions
  • Q1 Services bookings were up six percent year over year and $2.4B year-over-year worldwide
  • We sold $470M in Enterprise Agreements (EAs) for the Americas in Q1, resulting in 45 percent year-over-year growth
  • Security sales were up 10 percent from last quarter
  • Collaboration sales were up 6 percent from last quarter

There has never been a better time to get on-board and drive success with Cisco software, subscriptions, and EAs! For Cisco partners who are wondering what the first step would be to transform their business, we have myriad practice-building resources and team members to help them get there.

Here are a few informational resources to get started:

These key areas are Cisco partners’ biggest opportunities for growth as we move into 2021, and we are excited to work with them to accelerate this growth next year, hopefully even in-person!

We hope you are able to appreciate the good things, be blessed by the extra family time, and can safely connect with friends and family so we can grow stronger together. We are looking forward to wrapping up 2020 and growing our businesses together this coming year.


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