Cisco announces new partner incents

Cisco kicked off its Partner Connection event by announcing new incents designed to put more money in partner pockets. One of them won’t, however, be available right away outside the U.S.

Nirav Sheth, VP Architectures and Engineering, Global Partner Organization, Cisco

MIAMI BEACH – Cisco’s Nirav Sheth, VP Architectures and Engineering, Global Partner Organization, kicked off the company’s Partner Connection Week here with multiple announcements guaranteed to warm partner hearts. He announced the expansion of the Cisco Capital Easy Pay program to everything. He also announced the expansion of the Account Breakaway program. Finally he announced a new two per cent reward on all enterprise networks and Nexus registered deals.

Sheth began with a bullish overview of the company’s recent channel-focused successes over the past several quarters.

“We have 23,500 new customer logos for Meraki, and have grown that footprint 5x since the initial deal,” he told the audience. “We have $1.2 billion booked on Cisco ONE by our partners. We introduced DNA Offers to drive security and automation, and have more than $465 million of Offers booked since October. When we introduced our hyper-converged solution, there was a lot of noise in terms of where the market was to where we were. But we now have over 1200 Hyperflex customers, and 30 per cent of those are net new UCS logos.”

Sheth said that the genesis of today’s customer conversations is highly congruent with Cisco’s value proposition.

“Customers are interested in four basic conversations – operational efficiency, risk management, customer experience, and workforce experience,” he said. “It boils down to one of these tracks, sometimes several of them. Cisco is number one because we can unlock all four of those customer conversations. We have so much stuff on the truck that enables us to handle all four conversations.”

Sheth pointed to pizza as an example of how non-technology industries are now using technical innovation. Dominos is a strategic customer of Cisco, and Sheth said that their transforming their business with technology got their same-store ordering up 10 per cent in an overall flat to declining market. They also increased their share of the pizza market from 9 per cent to 15 per cent. Sheth also noted public comments from Pizza Hut’s CEO that their turnaround strategy was based on building the company around technology.

“These customer conversations today lead us to tremendous services opportunities,” Sheth said, highlighting in particular a 25 billion dollar market for managed services and a $436 billion IT spend for integration services.

“With our commitment to open and extensibility, we will help you continue to unlock both of these opportunities,” Sheth said, emphasizing that partners delivering managed services leveraging new toolsets enjoy 50 per cent gross profits, which are typically much higher than professional services profitability.

Sheth then turned to the new incents, noting from a count of hands that only about a quarter of the partners in the room leveraged Cisco Capital Easy Pay, a 0% leasing option introduced last year specifically for Cisco DNA [Digital Network Architecture] hardware.

“The feedback here, both from you and our field teams, was why restrict it to just DNA,” he said. “So we are going to make it bigger. We are going to expand it to all architectures, all products, all SKUs.”

For Canadian partners, there’s a catch however. The expansion will start in the U.S. first and then slow roll to the rest of the world. How slow will the roll be to Canada? ChannelBuzz has been told they are working through details for Canada, and more details on timing will be forthcoming.

“There are different legalities country by country, and we chose to prioritize on the  US out of the gate,” Sheth said. “But we don’t want to have different structures in different areas, and will be working to harmonize this as soon as we can.”

Sheth then outlined an expansion of Cisco’s successful Account Breakaway program.

“The biggest opportunity out there is enterprise networking, and the feedback has been that the DNA offers are great, but can we do more to drive the commonality of technologies,” he said. “We are introducing a simplified promotion structure for all of enterprise networking. It covers the entire networking portfolio – 60 per cent off, no questions asked. If you register a deal as Account Breakaway, you will have deal protection on that deal.”

Sheth also announced a new 2 per cent VIP incent on all enterprise networks and Nexus registered deals.

“We want to reward you for all the heavy lifting, you have been doing day in and day out,” he told the assembled partners.

As an added bonus for event attendees, Sheth announced 12 incentive trips.

“They are for partners in this audience anywhere in the world,”  he said, noting that they also included the partner’s significant other. Three of them are for enterprise network, three for data centre, three security, attached to enterprise network or data centre, and three to software buying models.

“People make a company, and we also know it’s a time commitment to be here, and we wanted to reward that. “We also wanted to get the competitive juices flowing. “There will also be a fair share opportunity for all partners,” he said, so that smaller partners won’t be excluded to the favour of channel giants.

Details on the trip promo will roll out shortly after the conference.