Cisco Partner Experience Platform Reaches ‘Next Level’ With Growth, Profitability Feature Adds
The Partner Experience Platform isn’t just a place to consolidate tools for partners, Cisco’s José Van Dijk tells CRN. It’s now packed with features aimed at helping partners grow their recurring revenue opportunities and become more productive through capabilities like predictive modeling.
The Partner Experience Platform (PXP), the place in which partners manage their relationship with Cisco Systems, is gaining a handful of new features to help partners grow their business by identifying new opportunities and, equally, to see the areas they may have missed.
José Van Dijk, vice president of partner performance and experiences for Cisco’s Global Partner Organization, joined the global partner performance team in 2019. She came in with a mission to simplify a complex environment for partners that consisted of many disparate tools that partners had access to in different places.
Enter 2020 when she and her team first revealed PXP, a single source to help partners plan and renew deals, view incentives and certification information, and even collaborate with fellow Cisco partners. The platform was designed to whittle down the more than 180 disparate tools with a goal of retiring and consolidating 50 percent of the separate tools into PXP. Today, Van Dijk and her team have surpassed that goal by eliminating, merging or reworking 60 percent of tools into PXP.
Now that the necessary tools are nested inside of PXP, she and her team have a new goal: to make sure the APIs are available for partners so that the PXP platform becomes part of their workflows, whether they are sitting in PXP or not, Van Dijk said. The other goal is to take advantage of the 30 years of data that Cisco has for better predictive modeling to help partners grow their business.
The new functionality aimed at partner growth, profitability and productivity that’s been embedded into PXP, she said, will do just that.
Unveiled at Partner Summit 2023, one of new tools embedded into PXP is called Growth Finder, which will help partners boost their recurring revenue by giving them new insight into whitespace, cross-sell and upsell opportunities via automated processes, Van Dijk said.
“Growth Finder is basically where we automate even more prescriptive insight from all of these best practices that we have and we’re doing partner-specific AI modeling. From there, we can identify, size and prioritize recurring revenue attrition and greenfield opportunities,” she said. “For example, we can tell [partners], ‘Hey, you have so much of a la carte with your customers out there.’ If you convert them to EAs [enterprise agreements], it’s not only about how much extra business it brings, but it also immediately [shows] what [the partner] will gain in terms of incentives.”
PXP will also now help partners optimize profitability by highlighting areas of missed rebates and show partners how they can boost customer software adoption, Van Dijk said.
“We have made it visible where they have already missed the boat with regard to converting these a la cartes into EAs, and that’s a massive opportunity, obviously,” she said. “We can also show them, ‘You bought ISE [Identity Services Engine] for this customer, but they haven’t bought any of the other parts of security that fits within that profile. So here’s your opportunity to sell this as well to that customer.’”
Along the same vein, PXP will show partners their investments in one place with Funds Manager, according to the San Jose, Calif.-based tech giant.
The PXP platform is helping partners with productivity in a few new ways. The first change is Disti Partner View (DPV), a tool that promotes business development support for two-tier partners in collaboration with their designated distributor. Partners can also upload custom sales and customer hierarchies. Cisco Partner Journeys, a new feature, will promote agility, acceleration and enablement of effective Cisco partner practices from incubation to revenue production, the company said. In addition, PXP will offer what Cisco calls a more holistic view of funds management directly from Cisco, which will cut out the need for third-party or internal administrative resource support.
Cisco so far is seeing between 15 percent and 20 percent productivity increases across the board for partners using PXP, and about 35,000 users are on the platform today, Van Dijk said.
“What I’ve seen is really intriguing with where they’re going, and we have a lot of the same principles in the way we view our [own] client and experience, so directionally, it seems really good,” said Brian Ortbals, vice president of global engineering for Maryland Heights, Mo. -based Cisco Gold partner World Wide Technology (WWT).
Similar to Cisco’s own efforts, WWT is working on consolidating its tools to one platform, Ortbals said. “A much more of a cohesive experience; I think it’s definitely a good thing for us. We call it a wall of knobs. You can turn all sorts of dials and you can do a lot, but you don’t need all that. I need simple, I need it to be easy,” he said.
Cisco at Partner Summit also revealed that the Sustainability Estimator feature will be available within the PXP platform on Nov. 20 for sustainability specialized partners. The feature lets partners estimate carbon savings and share sustainability metrics with their end customers to help them meet their goals.
Cisco has about 800 sustainability specialized partners, the company said.
While Van Dijk and her team began their work about four years ago from an efficiency and simplicity perspective by reducing the number of tools and making it simpler, the PXP platform is now at a crossroads, she said.
“We’re going to the next level,” she said. “Everything we have now with regards to Growth Finder, upselling and cross-sell opportunities, and the incentive modeling, it’s way more [about] profitability, monetization and getting the best out of Cisco.”