Cisco’s current business model is a good example of this trend, and the company has been very clear in its intent to transition its business to a more software- and subscription-driven model. The company’s Q3FY17 earnings reflect this with 57% growth in product deferred revenue related to recurring software and subscriptions. Not surprisingly, Cisco reports that its most profitable partners are achieving at least 40% of their Cisco practice revenues from cloud, support, software licenses and other recurring sales.
Knowing that recurring-revenue sales are a win-win, Cisco has developed several programs, services and offerings in recent years designed specifically to educate and enable partners to grow their recurring revenue streams. Here’s a short summary:
- Cisco Impact and AutoQuoteare helping partners transition to the new economy and digitize customer engagement. Powered by data-driven automation, these tools and others can give partners entirely new capabilities and a leg up for capturing recurring, subscription and deferred revenue—and competing more effectively as market dynamics change.
- On average, organizations use more than 30 security solutions. As a result, many are struggling with fragmentation, complexity and gaps in security. With the Cisco ONE Advanced Security Suite, partners can fortify a customer’s data center, WAN and internet access while also building recurring revenue. The suite also minimizes time spent figuring out what security solutions to sell, deploy and integrate. Plus, unlike many products that focus only on security prevention, Cisco security solutions and services protect users before, during and after a breach.
- Today’s buyers want ROI and outcomes, which is why actively managing the post-sales relationship lifecycle—ensuring customers are gaining full value from the solutions they’ve purchased—is essential. The Lifecycle Advantageprogram combines analytics, automation and personalized content to enable partners to nurture adoption and customer success. With Lifecycle Advantage, partners can gain digital capabilities and fuel email campaigns that address every stage of the post-sales journey. Partners can also use data and analytics to simplify software and service renewals and more easily predict and anticipate customers’ needs and address them proactively.
Per Cisco, partners who piloted Lifecycle Advantage reported customer reach increased five times, click rates increased nine times and renew close rates increased 20%. Most importantly, using data, analytics and forward- and backward-looking metrics, partners can ensure the Cisco products and services they offer deliver the business outcomes customers signed up for.
- For partners who are new to the recurring-revenue business model, Cisco created SuccessHub, a one-stop portal that guides Cisco partners to establish a best-in-class customer success practice. Featuring a rich and comprehensive library of tools and resources—videos, webinars, white papers, playbooks, best practices and more—so that partners can learn how to build recurring revenue while creating long-term customer relationships.
Join Ingram Micro in the first part of our introductory series, Essentials 1: Growing Your Cisco Practice, which will give you a great foundation of knowledge on critical Cisco market trends and processes, as well as how Ingram Micro can be your personal Cisco consultant. Leverage our people, tools, processes and relationship with one of the industry’s most impactful manufacturers to take your Cisco business—and monthly recurring revenue—to new heights.