Cisco Partners: Cloud More Than Just a Conversation
Edison Peres, Cisco System’s (NASDAQ: CSCO) Worldwide Channels senior vice president, wrote in a newly posted blog that the vendor is busy taking the collective temperature of its channel partners globally concerning its go-to-market strategies, programs, incentives, sales teaming and other channel-related things.
“Every year we bring together a select group of partners as part of a series of Cisco Partner Executive Exchange (CPEE) events around the world,” wrote Peres. “In the last two months, we’ve met with Latin America partners, APJC partners, and U.S. and Canada partners. Last week we met with our Americas service provider partners, and next month we’ll meet with our partners in EMEAR.”
And what has Cisco learned from all those partner meetings? While each region of the world is unique in its requirements and needs for partners, the commonality among all partners is the growing demand for what Peres calls “new consumption models,” meaning, of course, the cloud and managed services.
Cisco’s partners worldwide are most interested in four nuts and bolts market drivers, Peres said:
- How to transform their business models to support managed/cloud services
- How to drive recurring revenues in addition to project based engagements
- Focusing on business outcomes rather than technology installations
- Finding capital to support the evolution of their business model
Still, there are larger questions that frame the current state of the market, specifically surrounding transitioning to the cloud, and provide the meat and potatoes for long-term strategies.
“Are partners seeing the demand [for cloud computing], or is it still just a conversation?” asked Peres of Cisco’s partners. “So we tested that notion with the partners in the room at each event and it’s clear that cloud is becoming more than just a conversation. Partners told us that the pipeline is building and deals are happening, but they tend to be small. Customers are moving to the cloud, but in small steps.”
As with all market upheavals, the thunder of the early adopters gives the impression that a stampede is occurring, when, in fact, a trickle may be more like it, a sentiment Peres decided to put to the larger Cisco partner audience, asking, “What do you see in your business–how fast are you seeing demand for “as-a-service” consumption models grow?”
Peres offered partners three input choices on the cloud: 1) it’s only a conversation; 2) a pipeline is building, or 3) deals are happening. It will be fascinating to see how they respond, don’t you think?