At Cisco’s 2023 Partner Summit this week, Cisco annouced a massive shakeup in their partner incentive programme. I my experience (and from the partners I work with), this makes Cisco’s incentive programme really stand out as top in class, in terms of where and how partners are rewarded.
In short, this new Partner Incentive is based-on three areas.
- Rebates for one-time sales deals.
- Incentives for recurring business.
- Additional rebates for driving customer value services such as driving adoption and increasing subscription volumes (seats).
Inventives aligned to Cloud
Cisco said that they are transforming the partner program to align with its transition to more software and services-based offerings.
The new Cisco Partner Incentive programme is designed to reward partners for selling Cisco hardware, software and as-a-service solutions by aligning the rebates paid, based on total contract value, customer adoption and growth of the subscriptions they have bought. This will help ensure Cisco partners work more closely with their customers (as against one off deals) to ensure their customers buy it, use it and grow it, rather than just focusing on selling product.
This is a similar approach that longer standing cloud vendors such as Microsoft use to drive usage and adoption of their products and services.
The new icentives will also better support their partners to acquiring new logos, for up selling additional cisco products and services and for cross selling into other accounts. Partner that offer and upsell “Cisco Powered Managed Services” will also receive increased rebates.
Skills Shortages driving Managed Service Demand
Cisco estimates that the managed services market for its products is worth $161 billion, and expects 46% of its sales to be sold as a managed service by 2027.
More and more organisations are turning to trusted Cisco Partners to look after support and maintaining their technology and help drive adoption of technologies to increase ROI and usage across their organisations.
New Specialisations to differentiate the top partners
To help partners differentiate in the market and demonstrate their expertise, Cisco is also introducing up to six new solution specialisations within the next nine months. These will cover areas such as cloud, security, collaboration, IoT, data center and enterprise networking.
Cisco is also enhancing its partner experience platform (known as PXP) with new features which include as a new sustainability estimator, that will enable partners to calculate and present their customers with environmental and cost benefits of modernising their IT hardware with the latest technology. This will made available only to environmental sustainability specialised partners.
Cisco is also introducing new Partner Advanced Support for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) along with guided access to API integrations that build on MSPs’ existing services and integrate into their operation and support services platforms such as Service Now.
New partner program starts H2 2024
The new Cisco Partner Incentive is expected to begin in the second half of 2024, and will replace the existing Value Incentive Program (VIP) and VIP Annuity.
Designed for everybody to wins
Cisco says the new incentive will provide more predictability and profitability for partners, as well as more value for customers. This is great news for partners like us (Cisilion) as it helps us drive more value for customers, while keeping prices for product and services low in an ever more competitive landscape.
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