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Partner Summit 2011: How Do We Impact Innovation? By Moving to the Cloud

Yesterday partners got to enjoy lively music during the General Session, but today, it was all about magic…and the cloud. Technology magician Marco Tempest treated partners to magic tricks using lights and a display, and he was followed onto the stage by Michael Capellas, CEO of VCE, and Padmasree Warrior, Cisco’s CTO. The theme was how to impact innovation, and both Michael and Padma highlighted the Cisco technologies that can help partners to differentiate.

Michael kicked off his talk with the statement that “cloud is not marketing hype,” but in fact will be a foundational part of the IT industry for the next three to five years. Michael sprinkled interesting facts throughout his presentation—for instance, did you know that 200 million users connect to Facebook via mobile devices? Or that 60 billion instant messages are sent per day? According to Michael, stats like those demonstrate that the consumer has already adopted the cloud, and it will spread into the enterprise.

This will open up a whole new world of possibilities for partners, as the world of applications that will be accessed by lots of different devices will change. Businesses will need new applications, location-based applets, new forms of integration, analytics and behavioral analysis, new development networks, development clouds, and software as a service. And all of those will be supported by the cloud. Michael concluded his presentation with his “Fearless Forecasts.” Watch out, partners: There will be a $50 billion converged infrastructure market in three years, and private cloud will lead enterprise and public sector opportunities.

Padma followed Michael onto the stage, and she highlighted some megatrends. According to Padma, users want ubiquitous, instantaneous access to information, content and applications. She also noted that the future of work will be very different: It will be social, mobile, virtual. Partners need to understand the impact these changes will have on their customers.

Like Michael, Padma also threw out some stats: Web-based video conferencing is expected to grow 180 times from where it was in 2009 to 2014. And guess what—approximately 40 mobile phones are sold across the world every second.

So what does all of that mean? It means that Cisco’s architectures can help partners deliver differentiation. We really recognize technology leadership, and with our partners, we have architectural innovation that we can bring together. Padma demonstrated a real-world example of the new partner cloud roles in action by sharing how healthcare would work if moved to a cloud-based environment. In the demo, they showed how patients could access their records, schedule appointments, find the nearest clinic from the road and process subscriptions all from their mobile devices.

John Stewart, VP/CSO, Corporate Security and Tom Gillis, VP/GM, Security Technology Business Unit, then joined Padma on stage to talk about the security options that Cisco will provide to support the network. John stated that customers have commented about the overwhelming complexity in their work environments. Cisco’s objectives are to keep the bad stuff out of your environment, keep the good stuff in and protected, and keep critical services up and running.

Tom followed by noting that security is the biggest barrier holding back the adoption of cloud technology. Since there is no control on starting and ending points in cloud, security needs to be integrated into the network, and that’s where SecureX Architecture, Cisco’s blueprint for how we will secure the enterprise for tomorrow, comes in. Context Awareness will be a part of SecureX Architecture, and everything will be centrally managed from a single security console.

As if all of that useful information wasn’t enough to keep our partners occupied, we also had a few announcements today, too. We now have two new purpose-built unified communications solutions for small and mid-sized businesses, which provide customers in these distinct market segments with complete, affordable, business-class collaboration systems to help drive productivity and profitability.

We also have new global sales productivity initiative called Cisco Partner Advisor, with agents available to give Select and Registered partners immediate and personalized sales support to accelerate sales and make it easier to do business with Cisco. Here are the full details on the announcements.

So that’s it! Be sure to check back here on the blog for regular updates, as well as for our Partner Update broadcasts, which can provide you with all the latest Partner Summit news.

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