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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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What's your vision for Cisco's Americas sales organization, and what will that mean for partners?

Customer centricity is No. 1. A lot of people talk about that, and candidly, we've talked about that a lot at the company over the years. I do see some renewed focus on that here based on some of the new alignment inside the company and some of the new executives that have joined the company who are really changing the way we think about our customer sand the way we really leverage the outside-in information to really change what we're doing inside the company. We're laser-focused on the five key priorities for the company: Multi-cloud, reinventing networking, unlocking the power of data, security and creating meaningful experiences for customers. One of my priorities is about the channel and our partners. In the Americas, 90 percent, 90-plus percent of our business flows through our partners. We're heavily committed to the channel to drive our business across the Americas. When you think of the holistic experience our customers want from our technology and our innovation, it's going to require the channel to help us deliver that. We're not building out capabilities at scale to deliver value-added services and support models that are going to be required as this market continues to change and evolve. Our commitment to the channel has never been stronger. We've seen some companies in the software world over the last 10 years that maybe haven't played this thing right, and I think we're learning from the mistakes that some of our peers in the industry made where they lost their value-added channel. We want to make sure we don't make those mistakes in how we shift our investments and how we shift our programs. We want to make sure we get it right by working with our partners.

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