Security Staff Acquisition & Development, Content, Small business

Cisco Small Business Partnerships: Marc Monday’s Strategy

When Cisco Systems recently hired SAP veteran Marc Monday to drive the networking company's small business partner strategy, ChannelE2E went searching for more details.

Cisco’s Marc Monday
LinkedIn: Marc Monday, global head of small business sales, Cisco Systems

Our quest led us directly to Monday's inbox. In this interview over email, Monday describes why he joined Cisco Systems as global head of small business sales, and where he'll be focusing his time in the days and weeks ahead.

ChannelE2E: How did you hear about the opportunity? 

Monday: I was approached by Cisco about six months ago and having worked with Gerri Elliot and Maria Martinez at Microsoft in the past; I jumped at the chance so learn more about the leadership at Cisco and focus on small businesses!

ChannelE2E: What attracted you to this particular opportunity at Cisco Systems?

Monday:  The pace of change in our industry and in the small business segment is incredibly fast right now. Small businesses are inundated daily with new products, services, offerings, all ostensibly designed to help a single point aspect of their business via technology. But what do small businesses need most to drive and grow their business? They need vendors and technologies that solve real world business problems today. Cisco brings amazing power and value to small business customers through their platforms and services giving small businesses a trusted vendor provider who can help them build connectivity, security, collaboration, to accelerate and differentiate their own businesses and grow.

Working with Gerri and Maria also play a big part in this too. Gerri’s commitment to customers and especially smaller or growing companies really appealed to me.

ChannelE2E: As head of global small business sales, is it safe to assume your focus encompasses small business partners?

Monday: Yes, that’s right. We want to ensure we leverage our long rich channel tradition to maximize reach out and across companies of all sizes. Small businesses may be small today, but they grow over time and we want to ensure they have the right touch from our talented channel ecosystem. Working closely with the Cisco Partner Program team and our amazing ecosystem is our competitive advantage in winning against the competition and ensuring our technologies and services provide differentiated value to customers of all sizes.

ChannelE2E: What are your first priorities in the position?

Monday: Honestly it's to listen. Listen to our customers. What do they want/need to differentiate and grow their businesses? How can we bring the power and value of our enterprise class products to them in a consumable way that helps solve their business problems today whilst enabling them to exponentially grow over time.

Listening to our partners. We have a proud and rich partner ecosystem who has been instrumental in our growth and brand loyalty over the years. How can we help them retain their customers, find new customers, and continue to add value to businesses of all sizes?

Listening to Cisco employees. Ensuring we are providing our sellers and marketers with best in class products, services, and tools to ensure maximum growth through our partner ecosystems today and ensuring we are agile in building partner programs that encompass emerging partnering models and partner2partner connections.

End of interview

More Background: Cisco Small Business Strategy

Monday arrives at Cisco Systems during a key time. CEO Chuck Robbins has been doubling down on SaaS and recurring revenue business opportunities. He has also rekindled the company's focus on small business customers and partners -- an area that former CEO John Chambers largely abandoned a decade ago.

Recent milestones include Cisco's relationship with ConnectWise in the MSP channel, as well as the Duo acquisition -- which has a strong SMB channel component. Earlier acquisitions -- such as OpenDNS (now Cisco Umbrella) also have strong MSP and SMB channel components.

Where will Monday take the small business effort? Surely, we'll see and hear some answers during Cisco Partner Summit 2019 in November.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.