By Sohini Bagchi

daisy

Historically, Cisco’s global strategy focused on the networking domain, and the partner programs it designed were meant to cater to this approach. However, in recent quarters, Cisco has evolved its strategies and enhanced its area of focus around IT-as-a-service, the Internet of Things (IoT) and cyber security, which it believes will be the growth drivers in the times ahead.

In line with its strategy, the channel organization and strategic alliance organization have been merged into a cohesive unit, called Partner Organization. The company believes that this will allow them to drive its technology adoption among its channel partners and increase penetration across sectors and markets.

At the Cisco India Summit 2017, held in Gurgaon in April, Daisy Chittilapilly, Managing Director, Partner Organization, Cisco India and SAARC, told Channel Times that channel partners are more important now than ever for the company and that Cisco Partners will have tremendous opportunity to thrive in the “Digital World.”

Chittilapilly, who leads the partner ecosystem for India and SAARC, explained, “Since its launch in India, Cisco, which has relied 100% on the channel ecosystem, has been working with systems integrators and channel partnership, focusing on partner specialization. However, in the last few quarters, we have significantly increased our channel efforts to augment partner capabilities by providing leading practices, tools, and knowledge transfer, which in turn enable them to have more successful and profitable customer engagements.”

“Besides, to further its reach across other market segments, the company has enhanced and overhauled its partner programs and promotions to drive profitability, provide the right kind of training and approach every market opportunity with specialized focus and customized offerings,” said Chittilapilly.

Under the new alignment, Cisco India has divided its channel partners into several categories, each catering to a specific business objective and market segment.

“Our Gold and Silver Partners who form the largest chunk of India partners, and contribute to about 75% of revenues. Managed Services Providers that include telcos and large service providers will continue to be a vital section for the company, going forward,” she informed.

The, there are the architecture-led partners that are focused on creating coverage for the adoption of the three identified architectures; borderless networks, collaboration and virtualization. Cisco’s transformational Partnerships will focus on the new market adjacencies that have been identified by Cisco and will seek to extend reach through them.

Chittilapilly added that Cisco’s distribution and distribution-led partners are now being approached with a renewed vigour, and several programs have been launched to drive their reach in Tier 2 and 3 cities.

Going forward, Cisco, using this specialized approach, will continue to work towards building value for its partners, ensuring their profitability, investing in building their capabilities and making a more conducive business relationship possible.

Talking about the key routes to profitability that Cisco partners need to be leveraging, Chittilapilly said that for growing revenue opportunity, Cisco sees tremendous scope for partners in the areas of IoT, public cloud and cyber security that’s embedded in every bit of its technology or business transformation strategy.

“In the coming quarters, we will continue to provide maximum support, and will be committed to partners’ continued success in the digital world,” concluded Chittilapilly.