cisco partner summit

At the 2023 Cisco Partner Summit, hosted in Miami this year, the vendor outlined an ambitious strategy for growth that puts its channel, and specifically MSPs, at the core.

With its managed services business already growing at 12% on the back of a record-breaking FY23, Cisco CEO, Chuck Robbins, said that the company is actively looking to find new opportunities in collaboration with partners.

For example, artificial intelligence (AI) is a focal point for Cisco’s future opportunities, with the company investing significantly in the technology, especially in the areas of the hybrid workforce and security. In security, 90% of bookings come from partners, and following the major acquisition of Splunk, partners will see additional opportunities ahead. Splunk highlights where Cisco sees AI and security intersecting, and MSPs in particular will be able to capitalise on the Splunk Observability Cloud to deepen their engagement with their customers.

Cisco is also introducing seven new partner modules on the Cisco Observability Platform. These modules, covering areas such as business insights, SAP visibility, networking, MLOps, SLO, and sustainability, offer partners specific avenues to contribute to Cisco’s diverse portfolio. The focus on sustainability, with upcoming modules like Cisco CX – Sustainability Insights, aligns with the growing importance of environmentally conscious practices, providing partners with a unique selling point.

Additionally, Cisco is working on building better margins into its channel, with new incentive programs and “white glove” deal registration that further sweeten the deal for partners.

Aussie MSP Earns Big Accolades

Also at the partner conference, ASX-listed MSP, Data#3 (ASX:DTL), was awarded software partner of the year with Cisco for the sixth consecutive year.

As previously reported by Channel Insider, Data#3 has been enjoying a strong run, announcing profits of $250 million for the financial year. At the time, it attributed much of that success to Cisco and said it was expecting to see further opportunities ahead, as it is based in Brisbane, located close to the Gold Coast and host city for the 2032 Olympics.

The success of Data#3 on the strength of Cisco in the market highlights the value of a channel organization finding a tier-1 vendor and building its core business around it. These vendors have the scope and resources to invest back into the channel, and as the partner grows in stature with its vendor, it finds itself a core part of the feedback loop, meaning the go-to-market becomes far more collaboratively and mutually beneficial.