Earlier this month Cisco announced its fiscal 2018 results (Aug. 1, 2017, to July 31, 2018), which reached $49.3 billion, representing a 3% year-over-year increase. Many of our Ingram Micro Cisco partners are experiencing even healthier growth percentages as they continue to adapt to their customers’ fast and furious digital transformations.
At Ingram Micro, we recognize the challenges our channel partners face when evolving from selling IT hardware and software licenses to subscription-based IT solutions and services. As we begin a new fiscal year, there are a few things partners should be aware of that Ingram Micro and Cisco are focusing on to ensure our partners’ continued success:
- We’re exploring new ways to help partners and end customers adopt the software-centric subscription-based consumption model.
- We’re helping partners educate their end customers about all the features of their software to ensure they’re taking advantage of its core functions. (Often the reason a customer switches from one software product to another has nothing to do with the product; it’s the fact they never learned how to use it.) This opens doors for partners to add their own services and additional Cisco product add-ons.
Some of the ways we’re helping our Cisco partners in fiscal 2019 are:
- We’re working with professional consulting groups that offer expert in-person guidance to help partners build businesses with sustainable recurring revenue and avoid the cash-flow pitfalls that come from making the transition too quickly.
- Cisco is also continuing its Cisco Simple program, which is designed to help partners penetrate the SMB market—especially companies with fewer than 250 employees. Cisco Simple encompasses all four Cisco Architectures, including:
- WebEx Teams (collaboration)
- Umbrella (security)
- Meraki (enterprise networking) and
- HyperFlex (data center)
- Enhanced B2B functionality through APIs. We’ve taken big steps over the past couple of years in helping ISV partners engage with our cloud ecosystem with the introduction of APS Connect, a system that takes advantage of its Odin Automation technology to help software developers more quickly and easily connect to the Cloud Marketplace. APS Connect supports would-be Cloud Marketplace vendors through a step-by-step process, from signing up and naming their offering, through declaring which resources are to be connected and connecting to their own API. The system then tests (in a sandbox environment) the API’s ability to respond to common Marketplace demands, such as order taking, new-user additions and service provisioning. After everything’s confirmed to be working properly, the application is published and made available to Ingram Micro’s channel partners.
- Cisco Impact and AutoQuote are other powerful tools that give partners entirely new capabilities and a leg up for capturing recurring subscription and deferred revenue—and competing more effectively as market dynamics change.
- Lifecycle Advantage is a program and tool set that helps partners land, renew and expand their businesses with customers by combining analytics, automation and personalized content to help digitally manage customer relationships.
- Reseller Services Portal (RSP) is exclusive to Ingram Micro and is directly related to Cisco Impact and AutoQuote, and it’s the perfect complement to the Cisco Lifecycle Advantage program. This free, online services-contract-management tool uses the information Cisco Impact creates to give partners visibility into their customers’ service lifecycles, simplifying the process of tracking maintenance contracts, warranties and leases (renewals and new quotes) and ensuring partners capture 100% of the contract annuity revenue available.
Join Ingram Micro for a special one-hour WebEx conference on Thursday, Sept. 6, at 1 p.m. ET titled, “Let Cisco Help You Design a Winning Customer-Adoption Strategy.” Attendees will learn how to protect their recurring revenue by building a comprehensive customer adoption journey that’s engaging and relevant.