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Why the decision to have Jim, and I guess by extension the Americas channel sales organization, report into you instead of the Worldwide Partner Organization? I know it's a solid line/dotted line situation with him under you now instead of Keith [Goodwin], but why make that change?
Well, we're moving to virtually a P&L model for the three geographies around the world. The Americas will be somewhat of a P&L view, so it allows us to make investment decisions. In the past, the different organizations would make their requests for resources and investments independently, and what this allows us to do is look at it holistically and move and reallocate resources as we need to based on the opportunity we see.
An example of that would be in our U.S. commercial business where [Senior Vice President, U.S. Commercial Sales] Allison Gleeson has worked over the past few years to move more of her resources into higher-touch [sales] and is working with Jim Sherriff more closely on a very focused implementation of what we're now calling the partner-led strategy. Bringing those teams together, we can make those decisions, and Allison has made a decision to shift resources into Jim's organization based on her belief that that's a more optimal coverage model. I think you'll see more of that.
More resources shifted, you mean?
Well, and the ability as part of one team to make those decisions. If one of our businesses is exhibiting greater growth than others, we have the ability to move resources more rapidly. If we need to, we look at dynamics in the marketplace that require us to tweak certain programs. We can make those decisions much more quickly together.
We've talked a lot with Cisco about resources headed for the partner programs and partner enablement going forward, and I had a chance to talk with Andrew Sage about the partner-led program and the $75 million investment, and also with Rob Lloyd earlier this year. He was the first to confirm to us that even with the broad restructuring, Cisco partners would see more resources, not fewer. Is it fair to say that it's you who has ultimate oversight for what resources to go the channel in the Americas?
Yes. We'll make those decisions as a team but ultimately I'm the one responsible and accountable for those decisions. I believe that our teams understand how to run their businesses, and we spend a lot of time together looking at opportunities. The example I gave you with Alison and Jim, they came to a conclusion that it's much more effective for us [this way]. It's the same decision that's been taken this year in the public sector business -- state, local and education in particular -- where we're implementing and taking advantage of the work Andrew Sage and the team have been doing in this partner-led model to try to optimize our coverage and get more capacity in the partner-led space within those businesses.
Let's look a few particular segments, starting with public sector. It's no secret that public sector has had a tough go of it, particularly on the state and local side, and that's not something unique to Cisco. Talk about your efforts to jump start public sector sales through partners.
The one thing we believe is that our team, aligned with partners, will continue to get good wallet share and most likely increase the wallet share we get from our customers. We're looking at how do we deal with the changing consumption demands from our public sector customers. many of them want and need op-ex oriented models, cloud-based solutions, as-a-service solutions. We need to work with them to understand what their business imperatives are and more importantly how they need to acquire technology which is most likely different than traditional cap-ex models. That's one of the key areas we're working on.
That cap-ex to op-ex shift and the embrace of as-a-service, is that happening all over the Americas?
It is happening all over the Americas, in pockets. We see the U.S. federal government as a big earlier adopter of cloud-based solutions. We see many of our customers adopting infrastructure-as-a-service particularly for application development agility. We see many of our customers looking at specific applications being delivered as-a-service, and we see obviously our service providers and systems integrators and partner community beginning to take advantage of this opportunity to expand their business portfolio to meet the changing needs in our customer base.
Next: Segments Where Cisco Partners Should Place Their Bets