As Seen on Channel Futures

By Moshe Beauford

In what Cisco calls “a new era of collaboration,” it has partnered with cloud communications service provider NWN Carousel to rev up cloud migration in highly regulated industries.

With premise-based solutions leading the way, according to data by research firm Metrigy, there appears to be the promise of higher profit margins thanks to the NWN Carousel partnership.

“With enterprise communication, 37% of seats are on multitenant UCaaS services. The remainder is a mixture of on-prem, dedicated hosted solutions, and still even a bit of Centrex,” Diane Myers, principal analyst at Metrigy, told Channel Futures. 

Myers remarked that in the contact center world, 32% of seats are on multitenant contact-center-as-service (CCaaS) services, with the remainder being a mixture of on-prem, dedicated hosted and custom-built platforms.

Kristyn Hogan, Cisco’s vice president of global collaboration partner sales, envisions the NWN Carousel partnership will migrate more than 75,000 seats to the cloud. 

Hogan called migration a “priority” for most organizations but noted many don’t want to migrate at the risk of sacrificing the reliability that traditional landlines extend. Teaming with NWN aims to ease that gamble and get enterprises to the cloud without interrupting business as they know it.

In essence, Cisco hopes to achieve this by integrating the managed services it extends via its experience management platform (EMP).

This will extend what Hogan called a “seamless migration experience,” aimed at those in high compliance and regulatory industries such as health care, insurance, pharmaceuticals, energy, telecommunication and banking, with that migration happening gradually as requirements change. 

Last year, Cisco announced a similar partnership with NTT that would see some 2 million seats migrate to the cloud over three years. 

“We have seen tremendous growth,” Hogan told us. “We have over 13 million users on Webex. To put that number in perspective, that is more than double than the previous year,” Hogan claims. 

A Consequential Partnership for The Channel

Hogan said being the market leader didn’t happen by chance. It happened because of the channel, she told Channel Futures.

“That market share got sold entirely through the channel, which has given us a good compass to understand which partners we should work with,” said Hogan.

For Cisco partners, Hogan said the channel should get excited about the opportunity to make recurring revenue in the cloud, adding that partners have had to reinvent their profitability model, which she said looks different in the cloud era we find ourselves in today. 

“The partner opportunity is huge because their customers are going to move, and they want those customers to go with them [to the cloud],” she said. 

It is no longer selling and deploying on-premises communications to make all of a partner’s profit, Hogan contends, making the argument that Cisco is putting that partner profitability on the back end.

“Yes, we want you to go sell it, yes, we’re going to reward you handsomely via our incentives, but even more so, we’re putting a lot of those dollars into things like activation, usage and adoption,” Hogan stated. 

Hogan shared that partners can now earn up to $250,000 by driving activation usage of Cisco’s cloud contact center offer and the Webex Calling meeting suite, a one-time incentive per customer, depending on the size of that customer.