Chuck Robbins’ told the assorted throngs at his opening keynote at the 2017 Cisco partner summit that things had changed a lot since 1999 when everyone was still interested in direct models.
Cisco management wanted him to work in a group called ‘channels’ and I said, ‘why’? And he replied that ‘we believe that organisation is our future’.
“We are more committed today than we were then. We really didn’t know how committed [to the channel] we should be back then, but today we know for sure. We are committed to our success together [with the channel] as we go forward.”
In the current IT landscape, with millions of businesses moving towards the cloud, the network will end up being fundamentally different than it is today.
“We have to reinvent networking. We have to make it simpler, we have to make it programmable, make it scalable, and we have to make it much more agile for our customers”, he said.
“This new era in networking is about the ability to take business intent and apply that to the network. Security also has to be embedded deeply into the network because we are adding billions of devices, so have to be applying security in the network too”, added Robbins.
Cisco has been simplifying its partner programme to support its channel’s transition to software-focused sales and services.
It is simplifying its specialisation programme portfolio and adding a Master networking specialisation which will include new software and services skill development. It is improving its industry expertise recognition in areas like retail, healthcare and manufacturing.
There are a battery of new incentives and simplifying deal registration. There is a new Migration Incentive Programme (MIP) to provide partners with an offering to migrate customers with legacy or competitive products to new Cisco technologies. It is simplifying registration by consolidating 15 hunting and teaming programme tracks into two and by streamlining the approval process.
Lastly Cisco has increased its partners in its lifecycle advisor programme and expanding the portfolio of offers available to those partners to more areas of Cisco’s business.
Two new incentives in the Value Incentive Programme (VIP) allow partners to simplify their software-based networking practices while upping their services.