Cisco has asked a lot of its partners when it comes to adopting subscription models and plenty of those tactics have worked, but the company has also found it needs to take steps to improve renewal rates.
There’s lots of good news on the subscription front: Cisco's ANZ channel chief Tara Ridley told partners at Cisco Live last week that recurring revenue in Australia and New Zealand has grown strongly. Software sales rose 28 percent, services sales grew by 10 percent and attach rate rose 86 percent.
But Ridley revealed that renewals tracked at 77 percent last year and the company has taken steps to improve that performance.
"We feel you're leaving money on the table in terms of rebates in this area and we want to help you," said Ridley.
Cisco will therefore hire 20 renewals specialists to work with partners and focus on securing renewals. The new staff will be customer and partner-facing specialists based in every Cisco location in ANZ.
Ridley told CRN that the renewals specialists will work with partners to identify who sold the product in the first place, help them with renewals and eventually upsell. They will focus on renewals for annuity products, including software and services contracts.
"Our software and revenue stats continue to be very high double digit, which we're really proud of but we've got to make sure that underneath that, we're getting that adoption and renewal motion," said Ridley.
"We're actually hiring in a completely different calibre [of person] than we've ever done, because it can be quite a technical conversation with the customer to make sure they really understand the functionality of what they've bought then to actually adopt it."
The journalist traveled to Cisco Live in Melbourne as a guest of Cisco.
A previous version of this story said that Cisco renewals were down 77%. CRN mis-interpreted a slide from Cisco Live and regrets the error.