Cisco’s Oliver Tuszik: ‘If You Are Not Unique, You Will Struggle To Make Margins’

With this year's theme for Cisco Partner Summit, “Own Your Edge,” global channel chief Oliver Tuszik called on partners to find what sets their business apart from others to provide solutions to customers that no one else can.

At this year’s Cisco Partner Summit, Cisco global channel chief Oliver Tuszik called on partners to, “own your edge,” encouraging them to zero in on their specialties to differentiate themselves and increase margins.

“If you are a partner, you need to be unique. You need to create a value that nobody else can create because this creates profitability," Tuszik told CRNtv. "If you are not different, if you are not unique, you will struggle to make margins. You will struggle to reach your customers.”

“Owning your edge” means understanding what makes partners special, he said.

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One way some of Cisco's most successful partners are differentiating themselves is through the company's DevNet software development program, said Tuszik.

"Companies [can] build up something on top [of Cisco technology] that turns an incredible $10 million technology solution—by adding a little piece of software—into an amazing business value-creating solution," Tuszik said. "You would say it's maybe icing on the cake, but it can [make] a huge difference."

As Tuszik reflected on his first year as the senior vice president of Cisco's global partner organization, he said he is proud that the percentage of business the San Jose, Calif.-based company does through the channel is on the rise, increasing two percent over the past year.

“[Partners] are the largest revenue driver by far,” said Tuszik. “It’s very close to 90 percent [of overall revenue],” he said, calling Cisco’s channel “our biggest asset.”

One of the key takeaways for partners from this year’s summit, Tuszik said, is “[Cisco cares] about your profitability. We leave space for you. We will help you to have a long-term, predictable, profitable business, but we will never giving up on customer success.”

For more on how to Cisco’s “Own your Edge” strategy, watch CRNtv.