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How Cisco Partner Lifecycle Services Are Reaching ‘Critical Mass’ Ahead Of GA Launch: Exclusive

Cisco’s Denzil Samuels talked about the passionate response partners have had for Cisco Partner Lifecycle Services (PLS) and the work the tech giant has done to ready the portfolio for the masses ahead of its GA launch at Cisco Live in June.

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Where is Cisco at with Partner Lifecycle Services (PLS)?

We’re approaching lifecycle Services in a very real way. Honestly, I think we’ve been so theoretical about what we wanted to do in the past and this is really grounded in the reality of what the partners deal with on a day-to-day basis and how they have to morph in order to be successful. The partners [are] saying: “Hey, look, we really need to be able to differentiate, because just reselling Cisco stuff will only get us so far and it’s probably not where you want us to be.” We said: “Yes, you’re absolutely correct”. Because of all the shifts that are going on in the market right now, the multi-cloud environment, flexible consumption models, and the creation of digital platforms at the heart of the digital transformation, we’ve had to operate in a very different way. The customer’s expectations are really different. COVID really put a magnifying glass [on] customer relationships and customer experience shot to number one on the list. Three years ago, security and data breaches were their biggest concern.

The best way to drive the right customer experience is outcomes, and specifically, driving outcomes that are meaningful to the customer, such as: helping me grow my revenue, or helping me reduce my risk, or helped me minimize my costs or whatever those outcomes are, that’s what [customers] are looking for now. With all of those things going on, we sat down with a group of partners, and we said: “We’re not going to do this in a theoretical way, we want you to be part of the design process.” And we did actually design part of the lifecycle services with some of our partners. Early in the design of PLS, we bounced ideas off of [partners], got feedback, made some tweaks to it, and we’ve been doing that now for the last 12 months. We’re in a really good place right now with lifecycle services.

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