Anthony Hall -

Cisco aims to make life easier with revised enterprise agreement

Vendor reveals changes to its enterprise agreement that it says will make it easier for partners to sell across the Cisco portfolio and meet the demands of customers

The focus of Cisco’s partner event has been to underline the digital transformation shift and the need for its channel to go with that movement.

The vendor said buying models had reached a point where 55% of its products and services are acquired digitally, alongside a move towards more software sales.

The vendor has cut the ribbon on its new enterprise agreement (EA) at the event, introducing common terms and conditions and one pricing platform. This standardised approach should make it easier for Cisco partners to sell across the portfolio and meet the demands of customers.

Julia Chen, vice-president of global partner transformation at Cisco, said that having looked at its enterprise agreement in light of the changes of the past 18 months it wanted to make life simpler for partners and customers.

“When we look at the Cisco enterprise agreement, we’re keenly focused on how we simplify the way that our customers procure software from Cisco and through our partners. The world is complex enough as it is – complexity is a liability in today’s agile environment,” she said.

The vendor first introduced its enterprise agreement five years ago. It has put plenty of effort into rolling out a fresh version, spending more than $30m to build the programme with a team of 200 working on it, and the vendor expects it to make a positive difference for customers and partners alike.

“The new enterprise agreement really standardises the approach with common terms and conditions across the portfolio through one pricing platform. It really makes it easier for Cisco partners to position complete solutions for our customers. We’ve brought together networking infrastructure, application infrastructure, collaboration, security and services into the EA process and system,” said Chen.

“What’s in it for our partners? Well, first of all, bigger deals, so the average deal size grows two to three times bigger when customers purchase through our enterprise agreements. This is because they can cross-sell more. The EA really helps our partners cross-sell additional product categories and drive customer value across the portfolio. There’s greater lifetime value, its stickier enterprise-wide coverage opens the door,” she added.

“What’s in it for the customer? Cisco’s new enterprise agreement really prepares our customers for the future and gives them access to Cisco’s entire portfolio under one agreement,” she said, listing the main three advantages as: business agility, premium experience and exclusive benefits.

The EA is being made available to select partners before becoming more widely available from next year. The current EA offering will still be available while the transition to the latest version happens over the first half of next year.

“As we think about partner transformation, which I do every single day, you can see that some of these benefits really help our partners grow their business, especially in recurring software and service revenue, and expand their value add to the customer,” said Chen.

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