November 16, 2023
In an EMEA media roundtable Wednesday, Hendrik Blokhuis, CTO of Cisco’s EMEA partner organization, said partners wanted to know how they could position Splunk to customers.
He said he shortened his explanation to this: “Cisco wants to be a connectivity platform, and we’re doing well. However, in today’s day and age, if you want to be a connectivity company, you have to be a security company. And if you want to be a security company, you have to be an AI company, because humans can’t do it anymore. And if you have to be an AI company, you have to be a data company. Hence, Splunk.”
Cisco and Splunk: Providing Security And Insights
With Splunk, Blokhuis said Cisco’s direction moving forward will be based on providing security and insights.
Cisco's Hendruk Blokhuis
“One of the underestimated assets that Cisco has, is the enormous amount of threat intelligence. Seventy or 80% of all traffic at one point in time will pass a Cisco device. So we have a lot of intelligence that we can bring to our customers, bring to our partners, to do a better job.”
New Cisco EMEA Channel Leader
The roundtable recapped many of the announcements shared at the Cisco Partner Summit last week. It also served as an introduction to new Cisco channel leader for EMEA, José van Dijk, who has just moved back to Holland after 13 years in the U.S.
“Coming back from the U.S., we do know that EMEA is driving innovation,” she told media and analysts.
Van Dijk said she is ensuring that Cisco’s and partners’ priorities are aligned.
“So far, it’s very much in line with each other in profitability, simplification … and that together we will drive growth,” she said.
Aside from Cisco’s acquisition of Splunk, she highlighted Cisco’s decision to change its incentive structure to support a recurring revenue model.
The vendor announced at Partner Summit it was merging several incentives to create one Cisco Partner Incentive. This will reward three targets: new logos, upsell and cross-sell. The program will start in the second half of 2024 and gradually encompass elements of VIP, life-cycle Incentives and CSPP programs for Cisco incentives. Three tracks in the program cover non-recurring deals, recurring offers, and customer value.
Cisco's José van Dijk
“We’re going to merge a number of the incentives that we have with driving a new incentive engine behind it," said van Dijk. "It will take us a little bit of time. We’re not doing this overnight. Obviously, it’s very complex what we’re driving here. It’s also the simplification into the incentive strategy.”
New Cisco Partner Experience Platform
Van Dijk was also keen to reveal details of her her "baby" — a partner experience platform on which she has been working for the past three years. She said partners will be able to track their engagement more easily with Cisco, spot revenue opportunities and compare themselves to their peers.
“We’ve been reducing the number of tools by over 60% for our partners, integrating them into one platform,” she said. “There are multiple capabilities in this platform, driven underneath by a foundation of 30 years of partner data that we have in our systems. With the drive to AI, we have all the data and capabilities integrated [with] no silos between the different tools anymore.”
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