Cisco: channel more critical than ever in post-pandemic world

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Cisco: channel more critical than ever in post-pandemic world
Dave West (Cisco)

Cisco has set its sights beyond the COVID-19 pandemic as its customers continue ramping up their digital transformation takeup, with channel partners becoming more critical than ever for the vendor.

At the 2021 Cisco Live virtual conference, recently appointed Asia-Pacific, Japan and Greater China senior vice president Dave West said that COVID-19 opened up an opportunity for us to think what’s possible for the future where organisations can aim to achieve new levels of technology-inspired innovation to drive growth.

West assumed the top APJC role in February this year following the retirement of Miyuki Suzuki, who gave the local keynote speech in last year's virtual Cisco Live event.

“The pandemic has made one thing very clear: that what can be delivered digitally must be delivered digitally. Businesses are putting more focus and energy into digital transformation and delivering digital first services,” West said.

“Even those who have been slow or reluctant in the past — 75 percent of enterprises globally accelerated their digital efforts during the pandemic, and 74 percent of CIOs reported that digital projects that would have normally taken a year to be approved were signed off in just a matter of weeks. We've seen perhaps five years, maybe a decade worth of digital acceleration condensed into just one year.”

With this massive take up in the past year, West said channel partners were fundamental to all these transformation efforts and are more critical to Cisco today than they have ever been.

West added that customers will be looking for channel partners to help them orchestrate, automate, control and gain visibility of all of their newly acquired cloud experiences, whether it’s in public cloud, private cloud or software-as-a-service. He said demand is “absolutely rising” for cloud native technologies, and cloud consumption experiences, regardless of where the services are delivered.

“Our channel partners are very excited about the transformation around our move and the work that we’re doing around software control points and around using software to drive value in infrastructure, because it's really allowing them to broaden out their own capabilities and their own expertise and engage and apply their own applications and services, which, in fact, will help their their profitability in the long run as well,” West said.

“What we have been hearing from partners every day is that they are excited about the opportunities that are being presented in the post pandemic world. They are clearly seeing a tremendous amount of opportunity to help customers digitise, to scale services and capabilities, to help address this hybrid cloud world that we're in. Each aspect of this will help partners drive their profitability and help them rethink their own businesses.”

“For us as a company and for our partners, it is absolutely fundamental to focus on the full lifecycle motion of our customers. For us to be successful, partners are very vital and I believe that they feel very connected to Cisco on this journey.”

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