Nicole Dziedzic is Sr. Vendor Business Manager for Cisco at Ingram Micro. A seasoned leader and a channel evangelist, Nicole walks us through how Ingram Micro’s CARE program designed for Cisco has been helping its partners to expand their customer success practice, boost technology adoption and drive customer engagement. Find out more in this article.
Ingram Micro is one of the world’s largest wholesale providers of technology products and supply chain management services. Our mission is to help businesses fully realize the promise of technology™ by maximizing the value of the technology they make, sell or use. As the leading solutions provider for the global IT ecosystem, we serve over 170,000 customers in approximately 200 countries.
I have been part of the Ingram Micro team for the past 15 years, where I proudly started my IT career in 2007. Throughout my tenure, I have had the opportunity to explore different roles and areas of the business, from vendor licensing to sales and partner operations. This diverse background helped me build the skillset I needed to succeed in my current role.
“Gone are the days when post-sales reactive support was the standard service offering. Now, more than ever, customers are looking for predictive and proactive guidance across their lifecycles to achieve business outcomes. As Sr. Vendor Business Manager for Cisco, one of my main objectives is to enable our partners to drive SaaS sales growth at scale through a lifecycle approach”Nicole Dziedzic, Sr. Vendor Business Manager for Cisco, Ingram Micro
For partners, this means a significant shift in how they create, deliver and monetize their service offers. Over the last few years, my team and I have been zeroing in on helping them build and expand their customer success practice, and the benefits are far-reaching in many ways.
By adopting a lifecycle model, our partners achieve higher renewal rates and more recurring business streams, strengthen their customer relationships, and differentiate themselves in this fast-growing, multivendor competitive market.
With its unique CX methodology and focused investments in outcome-based and lifecycle-centric service offerings, Cisco has been crucial in helping us accelerate this transition journey. And as a critical milestone of our relationship with Cisco, I would like to share how our one-of-a-kind and industry-first initiative, Cisco CARE, impacts our channel ecosystem and customers.
Navigating the software sales lifecycle is a challenging task. From staying current with rebate programs to handling multiple contracts, tools, and metrics, the complexity that partners face managing all of this - while ensuring customers realize the total value of their IT investment - keeps rising.
To support our partners in getting the most out of the sales lifecycle and accelerating time to value, we designed a program called Ingram C.A.R.E (Customer Adoption Renewal Experience). Launched in January 2022, this initiative was a culmination of a relentless collaboration between cross-functional teams, executive buy in and rounds of partner feedback and alignment efforts.
When we developed the business case and the program concept, the most significant “aha” moment happened when we found the opportunity to become an extension of our partners and help them build scale through Ingram CARE.
Exclusive to Ingram Micro, this program provides a “white labelled” dedicated team to serve our partners as their advocates. Working hand in hand with our partners, our Ingram CARE experts develop custom-designed Customer Success Plans (CSPs) to ensure their end customers fully leverage Cisco's solutions and achieve outcomes faster.
From pre-sales solution design and services to post-purchase, user-based enablement for software adoption, our team helps reduce our partners’ workload and redirects their time and resources to support their customers' strategic goals.
The Ingram CARE also offers our partners a comprehensive digital experience with resources and insights to predict and drive proactive action. For example, they gain visibility into our third-party success tool to track progress throughout their customer’s lifecycles. In addition, partners can use our pre-set deliverables and programmatic KPIs, such as end-customer health scores, consumption telemetry data, and quarterly success reviews to keep all parties up to date.
“It is truly remarkable to see what Ingram Micro has been accomplishing in the CX landscape. They are at the forefront of delivering CXaaS as a distributor, thanks to their unwavering drive and willingness to take risks, innovate and help partners transform. The Ingram CARE program is a ground-breaking service model and a game-changer for us to scale renewals and adopt our solutions”Denzil Samuels, Vice President, Customer Experience (CX) Partner Success at Cisco
Since the launch of Ingram CARE early this year, we have managed $100 million in Total Contract Value (TCV) through the program. Currently, we have 22 partners supporting 65 end customers across the United States, covering all Cisco architectures and buying models. We have completed over 23 success plans and 42 active plans in the pipeline, with 406 end-customer engagements fulfilled year to date. And the demand keeps on growing.
One of Ingram CARE’s greatest success stories involves our US-based partner Transformyx, who tapped into the program to serve its customer better, Ascension Parish School Board (APSB).
In this Louisiana school district with over 30 schools and 3,000 teachers, 22,000 students use devices, not books, to study and complete lessons. "Our ultimate goal is to provide a seamless learning experience through technology. Ensuring a reliable network and an effective response time is vital to avoid connectivity issues and disrupt this experience", explains Brent Cavalier, Network Administrator at APSB.
Through CARE, Transformyx helped APSB to realize an untapped value of Cisco's security enterprise agreement (EA). By delivering SecureX onboarding and enablement with the support of the CARE team, Transformyx provided three critical benefits to the customer: (1) ease of management across different solutions purchased in the EA, (2) ability to monitor and orchestrate all the security solutions, (3) access to a single-pane-of-glass platform, thus enhancing efficiency, visibility and reducing risks and downtime.
"Supporting our customers to achieve their business outcomes is a huge accomplishment and something my team and I take pride in," states Miriam Tiritilli, Client Success Manager at Transformyx. "The Ingram Micro team has been instrumental for us to deliver an exceptional customer experience and evolve our customer success practice with Cisco’s solutions," she concludes.
"When we help our partners' customers succeed, everybody wins." With this motto in mind, we want more partners and customers to transform and thrive, no matter what stage they are in the lifecycle.
As we double down our investments in CXaaS, we look forward to driving positive change and impact on our channels' community and customers' success through our collaboration with Cisco.
To learn more about Ingram CARE, visit the website https://imaginenext.ingrammicro.com/ciscocare.