Cisco says its channel strategy has accelerated “like hell’

Cisco claims that its channel strategy has “accelerated like hell” during the COVID-19 crisis.

Cisco’s Oliver Tuszik said that Cisco has not changed its messaging to the channel to transform their business even during a time of huge economic uncertainty for channel partners and their customers.

He added that Cisco’s has seen a huge acceleration among its partner community towards software and services selling over the last six months as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis.

“We told partners at this time that they needed to shift their business, and that has accelerated like hell. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to say anything positive about COVID-19, but it accelerated some of the stuff that we as an industry were driving over the last couple of years”, he said.

Tuszik said that the partners that took Cisco’s warnings seriously, and began to transform their business and move away from selling hardware, are now reaping the rewards.

He added partners operating in countries hit hard by the pandemic and failed to invest in new business areas with Cisco are being massively impacted.

“Overall it is very clear that the partners who invested early in the transformation are seeing the benefit right now. Whereas partners who thought they had more time have seen a massive [negative] impact. e see some partners are pretty relaxed right now because they have built up the capabilities before. For partners that focused on software but also on as-a-service solutions, they can’t manage the demand they’re seeing.”

Partners with a healthy balance sheet and a strong financial model will continue to invest in Cisco’s software and lifecycle services portfolio, Tuszik said. But those that were already struggling financially when the COVID-19 crisis hit will have “real problems”.

“This is a challenge, because you need to have a good performing business platform in order to invest and be able to transform. The perform business is breaking away, and your capability to do long-term transformation is reduced, which is a challenge.”