Here’s an extract from my book The Cisco Way – now available worldwide. Just Released at Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound, BAM (Books.a.Million) and (Germany).

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Change the Playing Field
San Jose, California, December 2008
We were steaming ahead on all fronts, making breakthroughs
with new customers and business models.
We had won our first WIMAX greenfield $8.5 million
Build-Operate-Transfer opportunity, a large win back at
KPN (the Dutch telecommunications company) from
Juniper, a multimillion-dollar telepresence managed services
deal for eighty rooms with Telefonica (with
four hundred additional rooms guaranteed over the
next four years).

The deals kept coming—but not without forcing
the Cisco machine to think, rethink, and develop
game-changing strategies every step of the way.
A new creative shared-risk pricing model helped
create a competitive advantage for us against Juniper
and Alcatel, securing several multimillion-dollar renewals
for recurring services at large operators and
service providers around the globe. We upped the
ante by offering to accept a penalty (in millions of
dollars) for every violation of our SLAs. In return, we
were asking the customers to sign up for higher recurring
service fees.

For our forward-thinking customers, this was like
buying an insurance policy because they knew Cisco
would bend over backward to ensure minimizing outages
to mitigate penalty payouts. In return, we were
betting on a higher recurring wallet share and an unshakable
footprint in the customers’ networks and
operations by building proactive assurance services
that would keep their networks up 99.999 percent (remember
five-nines availability). We changed the playing
field, as we called it, to lock out our competitors.

Learn more of the game-changing strategies to establish an unbeatable competitive position in my book ” The Cisco Way”. (