Enhancing Whole Offer to Meet Real Customer Needs
Cisco Systems is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate, and collaborate. Kathryn, currently principal and owner of Lumen Strategies, spent much of her career at Cisco Systems on the front line developing strategies and leading change in new markets and go-to-market models. Although an employee rather than a consultant at the time, Kathryn was often put in situations similar to those she now leads in her consulting career in which she was asked to assess the current state, develop a strategic plan, and prioritize, execute and lead changes necessary to meet business growth goals in new market adjacencies or new opportunities.
In the early days of Unified Communications solutions, Cisco had successfully introduced the Unified Communications product portfolio as an alternative to traditional telephony. Cisco was successfully adding new enterprise customers, however, those customers were often only deploying the solution as “science projects” or in a limited capacity. For the customers, these “science projects” were not delivering the full potential business value that enterprise wide adoption could provide. For Cisco, significant market share gains and acceleration of revenue growth depended upon greater and more rapid wholesale adoption by the enterprise customers. At the time, the “offer” from Cisco consisted of just the product portfolio elements.
Kathryn’s contribution was to first focus the internal team at Cisco on the customer perspective and identification of challenges with the current offer from Cisco. Secondly, her ability to organize and engage all functional teams and elements of the go-to-market mix on a “whole offer” end state was key. Kathryn’s leadership style, relevant functional and customer experience, and her approach to tackling the challenge, enabled this team to assess and prioritize what was missing from Cisco’s offer.
Through this effort, the team was able to identify and prioritize specific gaps in service offers, capabilities, and tools that were inhibiting customers’ ability to rapidly adopt the solutions across their enterprises. Kathryn also led the transition from solution strategy to an executable plan for development and launch of these offer elements so critical to customer success. Cisco’s improved “whole offer” supported significant reductions in time to value for the customers and delivered accelerated growth in revenues and market share gains for Cisco and its partners.