Cisco resellers should be looking to expand into new technologies even if they are still thriving through traditional selling models, the vendor's channel boss has warned.
Cisco has been going through a transformation over recent years, moving on from its traditional capex hardware business and focusing more on software-as-a-service and consumption models.
When asked by CRN if Cisco is happy with resellers sticking with these traditional methods, Wendy Bahr, senior vice president of Cisco's Global Partner Organisation, said partners should be looking to evolve - even if they are still seeing success selling Cisco hardware and professional services.
"My favourite saying is that the time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining," she said.
"So while things are going well it is the time to reflect on whether they want to make investments. We have so many opportunities for them to invest in the next generation of partner capability.
"If you're not changing and evolving, there is a risk of being left behind in an industry where everything is moving very fast, so if things are good now I would encourage them to explore the options that make the most sense to their business model. Don't stand still; we all have to keep moving and changing."
Bahr said that Cisco's shift to a software focus has made the vendor more accessible to smaller partners, adding that regional resellers have become one of Cisco's fastest-growing routes to market.
She said that a partnership with MSP player ConnectWise has helped smaller players work with Cisco.
"Some partners are well on the way to digital services, but with such a broad portfolio and such a global reach, we have plenty of opportunities for our global partners - many of whom have taken advantage of our ConnectWise relationship," Bahr explained.
"ConnectWise offers them all the capabilities, the platform and the invoicing so for many of our smaller partners there is a robust opportunity, and it's helping us attract net new partners that used to say ‘Cisco is too complicated for me'."
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