One of our "Power 100 Vendors"
Biography and Background:
Wendy Bahr is the Senior Vice President of Cisco's Global Partner Organization. She has responsibility for managing and supporting 60,000 global partners who represent the company's primary route to market. Encompassing system integrators, value-added resellers, distributors, services partners, independent software vendors, and technology partners, this global connected partner ecosystem accounts for approximately 80 percent of Cisco's bookings and is a unique differentiator in helping deliver business outcomes for customers and driving growth for Cisco. Bahr and her team are responsible for developing strategic initiatives and program innovations that create profitable growth and capacity for Cisco and its partners. With innovative solutions and services based on complementary technologies from Cisco and its partners, Bahr and her team ensure partners have the right capabilities and skills to serve existing and new market opportunities. Bahr previously lead the Americas Partner Organization for Cisco, which encompassed a team of nearly 600 employees and over 23,000 partners. In this role, she was responsible for partner enablement, partner profitability, and product and service sales growth with partners in Cisco's largest geographical region (United States, Canada, and Latin America) with annual revenues over $18 billion.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
There are three key areas I spearheaded to help our partners continue growing and remaining profitable in our radically changing landscape. These include the following: 1. Evolving our channel programs was a key accomplishment in 2017 and centered on simplification and increasing the partner value exchange. Highlights include: • reducing 10 express-level specializations to one; reducing 13 Advanced Specializations to five; • a new Master Networking Specialization to help partners enhance their networking capabilities; • investments to help partners focus on lifecycle selling by expanding our Lifecycle Advisor Program and adding two new VIP incentives to help partners jumpstart software-based networking practices. 2. We launched the Distribution Sales Visibility (DSV) initiative. DSV is a distributor-driven reporting process that accelerates our distributors' revenue recognition while equalizing the booking timing for direct and distribution ordering. DSV also provides a more efficient way for distributors to leverage their available inventory to fulfill partner orders. 3. As customers increasingly utilize digitization, delivering on their needs requires the capabilities of multiple partners. To facilitate this, I've expanded our efforts and investments around multi-partner selling. These efforts have led to nearly 12,000 new customers and over $4B in incremental bookings.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
1. Help partners capitalize on our latest networking innovations and shift to more software-centric IT business models that not only provide recurring revenue, but also provide profitable customer application and services revenue. 2. To unleash the value of software for customers and create additional profit engines, we're helping partners build their own customer success practices. With our assets and tools, partners are discovering how customer success leads to greater customer loyalty and profitability. 3.) We are helping partners sell beyond traditional IT buyers and equipping them to bridge to new buying centers and selling solutions to drive business outcomes.
What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
Named CRN's 50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs Named CRN's Women of the Channel Power 100 List
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Watching the Winter Olympics, I really admired Ester Ledecka who was the first woman t compete and win gold in both Alpine skiing and snowboarding parallel slalom. I was inspired by her love of sports and her commitment to passionately pursue both despite concerns from her coach and others that she would hurt her chances to medal in both. People who train with her say she is one the hardest working athletes who treats every practice run like it is an actual race. Ledecka's refusal to specialize and to break tradition and pursue her dreams inspires me.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
I would tell my 16-year-old self to not take Latin but instead take Spanish and to stick with it. Being multi-lingual is a real asset in today's global economy.
If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I would love to master programming. As our networks become more programmable, expertise in languages like Python are making the transition to software-defined networking possible. This unleashes the power of the network to deliver on our customers' critical strategies.
What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
Eric Barker's "Barking Up the Wrong Tree" is full of pragmatic real stories with actionable advice about success. This is a book I will read and re-read for years to come.
Unedited Content Provided By Participants