Cisco Services: Low Double-Digit Growth Is Not Good Enough

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Cisco Vice President Raja Sundaram said that channel partners now make up 80 percent of Cisco's services bookings, but he is not satisfied with those numbers.

"It's gasoline-on-the-fire time," Sundaram said. "Low double-digit growth is nice, but not good enough."

Cisco's services portfolio focuses on smart services, and Sundaram said partners' businesses lean on services now more than ever.

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"We see that the mix has shifted for our certified partners, so what used to be 25 percent of their entire Cisco portfolio being services 5 to 7 years ago, is now 50-50," he said.

Sundaram called the ROI on services the "Cisco Effect." According to Sundaram, $1 of services leads to $4 to $7 in related IT sales.

"That's a huge pull-through opportunity for our partners, so need I say more on the services-led proposition?" he said.

Armed with those numbers and high standards, Cisco has created stackable rebates in its partner program. In 2015, the vendor will focus on pure growth multiyear, and incentives on premium services.