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Cisco Partner Summit Preview: Americas Sales Chief Sharritts On SD-WAN, And Stoking Software Growth

Cisco Americas Sales Chief Jeff Sharritts is counting on partners to go all-in with a software-centered, lifecycle-focused strategy to sell across the company's product portfolio and put Cisco a step ahead of a rapidly changing market.

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Sales Leader

Jeff Sharritts, Cisco's Americas sales chief, is clearly prioritizing the channel as he remakes his organization to drive the networking giant's transformation into a software, subscription and recurring revenue-focused strategy.

Sharritts was named to the top Americas sales job last June. The 19-year Cisco veteran came up through the company's partner organization and he's got a clear message for solution providers headed into the company's massive Partner Summit in Las Vegas this week: He's counting on partners to go all-in with a software-centered, lifecycle-focused strategy to sell across the company's product portfolio and put Cisco a step ahead of a rapidly changing market.

"We're absolutely committed to working with partners through this transformation that we're working through,"Sharritts told CRN. "We're going to do it together, and we're going to get it right together. We have a history as a company of doing it right with our partners. It doesn't mean we're always perfect. We always have room to improve. But I think we've done a good job with the channel over the years and I think we understand the relevance and the value of our partners as the market changes. We're going to invest with them to get this right."

Sharritts, who took the top Americas sales job after longtime Cisco exec Allison Gleeson left the company, has also made sweeping changes to his Americas sales team to emphasize the drive toward subscriptions, recurring revenue and selling Cisco as a platform with open APIs partners can use to build and strengthen application development practices.

What follows is an edited excerpt of Sharritts' conversation with CRN.

 
 
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