Cisco’s Keith Goodwin Previews Next Channel Partner Moves
Like a classic Hollywood movie trailer, Cisco Senior VP Keith Goodwin knows how to engage and tease his target audience. To wit, Goodwin is describing four strategic pillars that will potentially drive Cisco’s ongoing partner success. Goodwin didn’t share any “breaking” news during a recent conversation with The VAR Guy. But it was clear that he was setting the stage for several potential partner program moves — including a more definitive effort in the SMB and commercial markets. Here’s the update.
During a chat a few days ago with The VAR Guy, Goodwin described how several key channel executives will help Cisco to move forward on several fronts. The efforts include:
- Innovate and invest in our industry-leading channels model, led by Edison Peres;
- drive commercial and small business sales with innovative partner-led models, led by Dave O’Callaghan;
- build global and transformational partnerships, led by Wendy Bahr; and
- scaling Cisco’s partner support efforts, led by Jim Sherriff.
Setting the Stage
Simply put, it sounds like Goodwin is setting the stage for specific moves by his channel lieutenants. A prime example: Just a hunch, but The VAR Guy expects O’Callahan and Cisco VP Andrew Sage to announce a global go-to-market strategy for the commercial and SMB channel segments within the next few days… or weeks.
The strategy has been under development for several months and it will include emerging partner routes to market. (Hint, hint: Look up in the sky for cumulus developments.) Pressed for more details, Goodwin offered another teaser. Our conversation, he said, focused on setting the big picture. But, he offered, “we’ll have each of our channel leaders dive a little deeper” with the media soon.
Still, The VAR Guy started to wonder: By putting such a bright spotlight on Cisco’s channel lieutenants, was Goodwin himself planning to step away from the company anytime soon? Goodwin dismisses such speculation. “Sure, someday I’ll step away,” he allowed. “But my statements here aren’t not a signal of anything short-term. I’ll focus on executing the strategies, working across each of our channel leaders to ensure the right linkages are in place.”
Meanwhile, Goodwin also sits on Cisco’s Commercial Business Council and Small Business Council — signaling just how important those two markets are to Cisco’s growth strategies. “Those markets are big and growing faster and we’re not getting our fair share,” said Goodwin. “We aspire to significantly grow market share in those spaces. In the past, [commercial and SMB] were almost a secondary priority to enterprise.”
Hmmm… Call it a cliff-hanger conversation. Goodwin set the stage. Now it’s up for Andrew Sage and Dave O’Callaghan to step into the SMB and commercial spotlight. The VAR Guy looks forward to the details…