New Cisco Americas Channel Chief: ‘This Is Not Your Mother’s Go-To-Market Partnership’
Cisco’s new APO Channel Chief Rhonda Henley talks about the tech giant’s focus on co-selling with partners and the opportunities she plans to help partners of all kinds go after around XaaS, managed services and security.
What’s the next big area of opportunity for Americas partners?
It’s all about security. We talk about meeting customers where they are. We’ve heard and we’ve seen in the press that where customers are looking to tighten their belt around certain areas, really innovating and driving innovation in their infrastructure is not an area in which they’re trying to cut. They’re trying to make sure that they’re optimized. There’s not an end user client in the marketplace that’s not thinking security first. I think really where you’ll start to see us — we’ve always been very security focused — but really double down and lean in and make sure that we’re enabling our partners to understand our [security] portfolio to make sure they are enabled. And candidly, there are some partners that are out innovating to make sure our sellers understand how the partners are driving differentiation in this space as well. Security is one of those big areas.
[The industry] is accustomed to us talking about the resell ecosystem that we have that’s phenomenal. But we’re also looking at expanding our co-sell ecosystem of partners. So, this is not your mother’s go-to-market partnership. The new partnership model include partners that may not necessarily drive the resale, but in partnership with a broader ecosystem, they’re saying: “I’m coming into to do this level of services, Cisco’s bringing these solutions, whether it’s security or managed or software, and then a traditional Cisco reseller can help us wrap it and package it so together, we can go to that end user client and really develop and deliver a full solution.” So, not only are we interested in resell, we’re interested in co-sell, and not only are we interested in co-sell, we’re interested in things like the innovation of the cloud marketplace, etc. So, that’s sort of coming together with the expansion of what we would call the partners of the past.