Every Friday, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories of the week, as well as point you to important Cisco-related content you may have missed along the way. Let’s have it.
Off The Top
As partner event season kicks into high gear, we’re focused on some of Cisco’s biggest gatherings, including Cisco Partner Summit in early June and Cisco Live in late June. Of more immediate interest, however, is Cisco Marketing Velocity, which kicks off early next week in gorgeous Cannes, France. Check out the roster if you haven’t had a chance; there are some impressively big-name speakers on the schedule, ready to share the latest in insights, technologies, social media best practices and marketing techniques with more than 200 Cisco partners from around the world.
I asked Cisco partners that have attended Velocity in the past to share thoughts on why the conference is a worthwhile investment, and here’s a look at what we discussed. Meanwhile, keep an eye on the Channels blog and follow both @partnervelocity and @cisco_channels for coverage of the event.
The Changing Mobility Conversation
Mobility isn’t any one set of technologies or trends; it’s a paradigm-shifting force that’s changing everything about the way businesses and end-users access information, use technology products and maintain productivity.
Edison Peres, senior vice president for worldwide channels, checked in on the topic this week and urged partners to think of mobility in terms of how it permeates the whole solution conversation, from line-of-business priorities to a strategic view of systems.
“Think of mobility not just as a set of products or services but as a business discussion you can relate to any number of segments from data center and cloud to collaboration and security,” Edison urges. Happily enough, many of Cisco’s recent product and service releases – along with new demand generation campaigns such as “Is Your Network Ready For Unified Access?” – are designed with this shifting conversation in mind.
Cisco’s Microsoft Fast Track
Cisco and Microsoft may be fierce competitors in areas such as collaboration, but folks who focus only on that competition tend to forget the important alliance we have with Microsoft in the data center space. This week, Cisco took that alliance another step by announcing deeper integration between Cisco Unified Data Center architecture with Microsoft Fast Track Solutions. Keep an eye on the Channels blog for more on what this announcement means for joint Cisco and Microsoft partners and the conversations they’re having with enterprise data center customers. Meanwhile, read how the industry views this announcement in places such as ZDNet and Channel Partners Online. Guest bloggers from EMC and NetApp also talked up how Microsoft Fast Track fits in with the VSPEX and FlexPod infrastructure reference designs each has with Cisco.
Cisco’s role in the evolving software-defined networking (SDN) landscape will continue to be a focal point, so it’s not surprising that quite a few industry pundits highlighted Cisco’s participation in the OpenDaylight project. Hosted by the Linux Foundation, OpenDaylight will receive software and engineering contributions from Cisco and many of the networking world’s best-known names, the idea being to use best-of-the-best R&D talent to develop a true open-source SDN framework. CRN, The VAR Guy and a number of other publications also talked up Cisco’s role in OpenDaylight this week, and our own David Ward took to The Platform to explain why this makes sense for Cisco. Omar Sultan talked about it too.
Highlights from around Cisco this week:
- Arjun Ghatak highlights Cisco’s latest research on the network software evolution
- Dave Evans, who as chief futurist probably has Cisco’s coolest job description, co-authors a post with Joseph Bradley on how to realize business value from IoE concepts
- Padmasree Warrior recently explained implications of the Internet of Everything on CNBC, linked here by John Earnhardt
- Rodrigo Flores describes the role of self-service in workload automation
- Steve Simlo checks in from World IPv6 Congress
- Chrissy Martin explores tech hub start-ups in Africa
- One for the techies: Moses Hernandez walks through why Nmap is still relevant
- David Yates looks at Cisco’s participation at NAB 2013
Keep An Eye Out
- Cisco Live in Orlando will be here sooner than you think. Here’s a look at the 72 breakout sessions planned for this year’s Security track.
- Cisco’s Mobility team has a series of new podcasts they’ve been creating – six and counting, on subjects such as Enhancing Wireless with the MSE and WSSi and Cisco ThinkSmart Location Analytics. Check ‘em out.
- If you’re ready for a deep dive on converged wired and wireless access, check out the April 17 webinar on Cisco Unified Access, the latest in a five-part series