Cisco Enhances Partner Program
November 08, 2023
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Cisco announced new features, enhancements and tools for its extensive partner community.

As Cisco invests in creating more business value throughout the entire customer lifecycle, it has initiated a significant evolution of its flagship incentives to reward partners for selling Cisco hardware, software, and as-a-service solutions. To support partners’ competitiveness, Cisco is adding up to six new Solution Specializations within the next nine months.

“The Cisco Partner Incentive is the biggest change we’ve made to partner incentives in more than a decade and is the capstone on the Cisco Partner Program evolution started in 2020,” said Marc Surplus, Vice President of Partner Strategy and Programs at Cisco. “In broadening Cisco’s suite of Solution Specializations, we are helping our partners differentiate in the market and demonstrate their expertise in the technologies and solutions sought by customers.”

Cisco also introduced several enhancements to the Partner Experience Platform (PXP), a personalized online portal to support partners’ productivity, competitiveness, profitability and go-to-market strategies. PXP has been augmented with AI/ML-powered predictive insights that can guide partners in ways to differentiate and grow their business. These enhancements are complemented by a revamped dashboard that provides a holistic view of funds activities and investments, removing the need for costly third-party tools.

PXP will also see the introduction of a Sustainability Estimator, exclusively available to Environmental Sustainability Specialized partners. Launching on November 20, 2023, the Sustainability Estimator will provide partners insight into the estimated energy savings, emissions reduction, cost reduction and environmental impact that a customer may realize by modernizing their IT hardware. The tool is also supported by a new Sustainability Partner Journey with resources and collateral to help partners build their sustainability practices.

As a single simplified incentive, the Cisco Partner Incentive will combine elements from several of Cisco’s most valued partner incentives. Aligned with Cisco’s transition to more software and services-based offerings, it will reward partners with rebates to drive predictable and profitable growth. Considering business outcomes sought by customers and the need to maximize the return on customers’ IT investments, the incentive will specifically support new logo acquisition, up-sell, and cross-sell opportunities. Implemented in a phased approach, the Cisco Partner Incentive is expected to begin in the second half of 2024, providing partners with plenty of time to transition to the new incentive framework.

The new incentive will cover three tracks: 1) non-recurring offers, 2) recurring offers and 3) customer value. Partners will earn rebates based on the Total Contract Value of a closed sale, completion of activities to drive customer adoption of the solution, and Incremental Annual Contract Value as they increase subscriptions. Additionally, partners will have the opportunity to earn bonus rewards-based investments in their Cisco practice or selling solutions. The Cisco Partner Incentive will complement recent changes made to Cisco seller compensation to better serve customers and drive greater alignment in Cisco’s joint go-to-market with partners.

To enable Managed Services Providers (MSPs) to deliver a premium support experience, Cisco has launched Partner Advanced Support for MSPs with the added benefit of guided access to API integrations that build on MSPs’ existing services. Featuring faster access to experts and tools in Cisco’s Technical Assistance Center (TAC) — a global organization that provides around-the-clock, award-winning technical support services online and over the phone — Partner Advanced Support for MSPs enables MSPs to offer faster, multi-product support, predictive insights, and issues resolution to scale an outcomes-based service model.

Building on the recently introduced Cisco Powered Managed Firewall, Intelligent Workspace and Private 5G, Cisco also announced today that it has integrated Cisco Lifecycle Advantage (LCA) into Cisco PX Cloud, streamlining the number of tools partners need to have a comprehensive view of their customer lifecycle data. Through this integration, partners will be able to access Success Tracks data to accelerate customer success and time-to-value with co-branded digital customer engagement.

Cisco’s Small Business Specialization has been refreshed and renamed the Small and Medium Business (SMB) Specialization. New Specialization content showcases Cisco’s commitment to SMB customers through end-to-end solutions from four primary experiences: Smart SMB, Hybrid SMB, Secure SMB, and Remote SMB. Cisco’s SMB Specialized partners are unique in the industry in offering this full-spectrum approach.

Cisco plans to launch two new Internet of Things (IOT) Solution Specializations in the first half of 2024. Between them, there is continued focus on the ruggedized industrial IOT segments and expanded recognition for partners working in non-industrial IOT spaces. This allows greater differentiation of IOT partner expertise, making it easier for customers to find the right fit for their business needs.

PXP has been bolstered with greater predictive and prescriptive insights to enable partners to differentiate and drive profitable growth. These include:

- Growth Finder — Provides partners with visibility to retain, grow and close more business, with recurring revenue, cross-sell and up-sell insights informed by targeted growth and partner-centric AI modeling. With this tool partners will be able to, for example, position the right security solution to the appropriate accounts with the right sales motion.

- Expanded Practice Maturity lifecycle customer insights — Helps partners support their customers’ lifecycle journey to drive more recurring revenue opportunities.

- Incentive Insights — Includes missed opportunity views and an incentive optimizer to illustrate and drive tangible bottom line impact for partners.

- Cisco Partner Journeys — Interactive journeys designed to cut through complexity to help partners achieve key business outcomes faster, with 19 total journeys focused on lifecycle, security, sustainability, software and more.

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