Cisco's newly promoted EMEAR SVP has talked up the mainstream digital transformation opportunity facing the networking giant and its partners.
Wendy Mars (pictured) has snared the post of SVP EMEAR following the promotion of predecessor Edwin Paalvast to a global role. She previously headed up Cisco's partner organisation in the region.
Cisco conducts 85 per cent of its business through the channel globally, and Mars - who worked as CTO of Cisco partner ThruPoint before joining the networking giant in 2008 - said her promotion echoes its commitment to partners.
"I ran the [EMEA] partner organisation, plus the architectures and SE areas, for one year, and prior to that worked extensively with our partners. I'm a strong believer in the power of the ecosystem and our partners," she told CRN.
"This [appointment] reconfirms the importance for us of our partner landscape."
Turning to her priorities, Mars highlighted driving customers' digital transformation as "the most important thing [Cisco and its partners] can solve together".
"If you look at this principle of digital and how organisations adopt and consume that, rather than having to champion that cause with our customers we are now in the thick of it, and they accept that it is required and are asking for help and support on ‘the how'," she said.
Recurring revenue rose to 32 per cent of Cisco's overall sales in its most recent quarter.
Although that figure was up just one per cent year on year and flat quarter on quarter, Mars said she felt Cisco is "on track" with its plans to embrace subscription models.
On this note, Mars said end users are seeking more regular contact and guidance from partners.
"They want Cisco and our partners to be with them through the journey of the life cycle," she said. "It's no longer just ‘one of you sell me something and I don't see you again for another four or five years when I buy something again. I want you to stay with me on the journey'."
Mars' previous role, that of vice president, EMEAR Partner Organisation and Digital, saw her head both the partner business and engineering and sales engineering for Cisco in the region. Her previous responsibilities have been carved in two, with the former brief already having been filled. Cisco is currently seeking a new EMEA channel boss.
"In the short term, I'm doing both of those roles and will continue to do that in the new role naturally. But we will be hiring a dedicated full-time lead for the partner organisation," Mars said.
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