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Cisco unveils major partner incentive enhancements

Vendor uses channel event to outline changes that will provide more rewards to those that sell solutions and support customers

Cisco has used the backdrop of its Partner Summit to outline increased incentives and more specialisations for its channel.

In a move that should encourage more sales across its hardware, software and as-a-service offerings, incentives have been improved. At the same time, Cisco indicated it will be adding up to six new solution specialisations in the next nine months.

The decision has been made to pull together various incentive options under a single programme, the Cisco Partner Incentive, which will reward those that line-up behind its various products and services. The plan is to roll out the enhancements in the second half of 2024 in a phased approach to provide partners with time to understand the changes and transition to the fresh model.

Incentives will cover non-recurring and recurring offers and customer value with rebates judged on the total contract value of a sale, driving user adoption and incremental revenues that emerge from taking a subscription approach.

There will also be an opportunity to earn rebate bonuses for partners that invest in their Cisco practices.

In addition, the firm is looking to increase business going via MSPs, with an expectation that 46% of its sales will be sold as a managed service by 2027. Cisco has launched its Partner Advanced Support for that side of the channel, with guided access to API integrations so partners can extend their own services.

The expectation is that by providing faster access to technical support, it will encourage MSPs to increase their Cisco business.

Channel commitment

Cisco is making a fair bit of noise about the incentive changes, describing them as a major step forward, and part of its commitment to the channel.

“The Cisco Partner Incentive is the biggest change we’ve made to partner incentives in more than a decade, and is the capstone on the Cisco Partner Program evolution started in 2020,” said Marc Surplus, vice-president of partner strategy and programmes at Cisco.

At the same time as announcing improved incentives, Cisco has also refreshed its Small Business Specialisation and renamed it Small and Medium Business to cover customers’ hybrid, security and remote working needs.

The vendor expects to launch a couple of fresh internet of things Solution Specialisations in the first half of next year. “In broadening Cisco’s suite of Solution Specialisations, we are helping our partners differentiate in the market and demonstrate their expertise in the technologies and solutions sought by customers,” said Surplus.

The vendor has also bolstered its Partner Relationship Management platform (PXP) to support further profitable growth.

Partners will be able to get access to insights that highlight cross-sell and upselling opportunities and signal where customers are in product and service lifecycles to pitch the right solution at the best moment.

PXP will also support the incentive changes with chances for partners to track their progress and get an idea of where they missed out on potential rewards.

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