Business Management

Cisco partners using open source gain 10% sales advantage over rivals

Cisco channel partners deploying open source software on top of network delivery are seeing higher sales than those who don’t, the vendor has revealed.

Susie Wee, the president and CTO of Cisco’s developer program DevNet, claimed partners who had a staff member using the platform’s code and ecosystem exchanges, were seeing 10 per cent more sales revenue than their channel competitors.

Speaking to ARN, Wee said that while the partners’ growth was not necessarily caused by DevNet, the numbers represented a strong correlation.

“We went through our entire set of partners and looked at which ones have a DevNet member and those that do not,” she explained. “We looked at the business growth in terms of revenue bookings, and the partners that have DevNet members have actually grown 10 percentage points.”

Wee added that the numbers represented a global spread, but was unable to provide a breakdown for Australia, New Zealand or Asia Pacific markets at the time of publication.

Founded in 2014, DevNet currently has 500,000 members globally, who use the open source platform to access and share Cisco applications and code.

The majority of developers use Cisco APIs to speed up IT operations by automating their networks in the data centre and enterprise, plus building hybrid cloud applications.

This week, DevNet will launch a new development set for SD-WAN, as Cisco embarks on the integration of its SD-WAN networking service with its security capabilities.

Speaking during Partner Summit in Las Vegas, Wee said there was also "great potential" for partners to provide business solutions on top of traditional Cisco network deployment.

“It’s a business opportunity our channel partners can sell,” she said. “They can sell infrastructure and then customise as they go.”

Citing examples of successful DenNet and software developer partnerships, Wee referenced manufacturing companies which had used IoT software to digitise their physical processes.

Cisco also teamed up with Mapwise to offer a building map embedded within the wi-fi network at the recent Web Summit in Portugal.

However, Cisco’s recently-appointed channel chief Oliver Tuszik later acknowledged that many of the vendor’s partners do not know how to code or use APIs.

Read more: Cisco aligns with AWS to help businesses run apps in the cloud

Speaking to journalists, he said: “It’s one of the challenges. There are a lot of companies that have a lot more Cisco Certified Internetwork Experts (CCIE); they have a lot of technical capabilities, but they are not on the right wave to utilise the new world.

“But when we look at the numbers, it’s growing dramatically from a small number. I believe there are enough businesses who will pick it up.”

Tuszik added that partners needed to attract young coders to keep pace with these development trends, although he admitted Cisco’s platform was not “as sexy” as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

“It has a lot more business potential though,” he added.

Eleanor Dickinson attended Partner Summit as a guest of Cisco

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