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Cisco: Partners ‘In Step’ with Transition to Software Centricity

Software Box

… some hybrid version of all of that, and we’re able to bring to bear our full portfolio as Cisco to help our customers embrace, manage, secure and consume their cloud capabilities in that multicloud world. It’s a huge part of our strategy.

IoT continues to play a very important part of our strategy. Every day more and more things are connected to the network and many of those things need to be secured, to be delivered, and in a lot of ways it’s the combination of our software and hardware that will enable that experience, and certainly our world-class channel partners delivering that.

CP: Is Cisco and its partners’ end-customer profiles changing or evolving along with this transition? Are there new types of customers emerging?

GW: I wouldn’t say the profile or types of customers that we’re looking at are changing, but what I would say is within the diverse set of customers that we serve on a global basis, from the largest of enterprises to the smallest of businesses, what we’re seeing is the needs within those businesses changing. And I’ll characterize some of the needs that we see. We see more involvement from line of business in the technology decision making. So what that does is opens up a whole new engagement pathway for Cisco and our partners to find new ways to deliver value to the customer. They’re concerned about security and how they secure critical business assets. They’re concerned about mobility and how they make sure their mobile workforce can remain productive. They’re looking at technology in the line of business to say, “How do I compete effectively in this global landscape that continues to create new pressures?” And they look to the combination of our software and hardware delivered through our partners to take those challenges on. So it’s really the buying centers within the customer that we see evolving and it’s not so much new types of customers.

CP: How pivotal is this year in terms of growth and innovation? What do you want partners to know about the goals for this year and how they come into play?

GW: This period of time that we’re in, it is a pivotal time and it’s driven by the customers’ need to strategically look at IT and technology in new, strategic ways. And we think that the transition to being software-led is going to help us to open up those recurring value opportunities to meet those customer demands. Software gives us the ability to innovate fast, deliver incremental value onto that software and onto these platforms, and to do so in a rapid fashion.

And from a partner perspective, I want partners to know that they are the most important part of this transition from the seat that I sit in, and that helping them make this transition profitably so they can open up new services, opportunities and new revenue streams to deliver sustainable recurring value and recurring revenue, is really what this is all about. And doing this with partners is fundamental for us.

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