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
Andrew Sage, Cisco vice president, Worldwide Partner-Led, has good news for top-performing participants in Partner Plus: you’ll not only be recognized as part of Cisco’s new Winners Circle sales initiative, but you’ll also get to attend a special event at a luxury resort with some of Cisco’s key executives. You heard it right: prime networking, a gorgeous location, and an earnest reward for the hard work that goes into building and executing on Partner Led solutions.
It’s all part of the ongoing expansion of Partner Plus, including, as Andrew mentioned, new Partner Led Sales Excellence Training.
“You leverage the same content the Cisco sales team uses, meaning that partners and the field are on the same page when it comes to the fundamentals of business planning for an account or territory,” Andrew explains. “In turn, you can better manage sales. It’s truly a collaborative learning process that we have seen transform partners from salespeople into more strategic advisors that get at what customers really want and need.”
Are You Making The Right Investments?
Kaycee Tan’s ongoing Cisco Partner Talent blog series has been focused on how partners recruit, develop and retain the best talent they can – no easy mission in an industry that’s changing so rapidly and that’s also so competitive. One area noted by Kaycee where many organizations could stand to invest more is training: not just the onboarding of new employees but also the type of knowledge and professional skills that keep even veteran employees current.
“If your firm has cut training because of the lackluster economy, you may be hurting your chances for success over the long haul,” Kaycee writes. “In fact, the most successful companies never stop funding employee learning and development. They know that training pays them back with a workforce that’s not only more competent but also more content and confident in its skills.”
Debating Public Cloud
One of the most interesting discussions that emerged from UBM’s recent XChange conference in Orlando was about the evolution of public cloud services as a compelling channel play. Our own Richard McLeod, senior director, worldwide collaboration channel sales, joined a spirited channel chief roundtable that included key channel executives from Verizon, Comcast Business Class and VMware. You can watch an extended clip here.
Cisco On The Hunt
Cisco’s much-discussed build, buy, and partner framework for innovation definitely means some strategic acquisition. This week, Cisco confirmed plans to acquire Ubiquysis, a Swindon, U.K.-based provider of intelligent 3G and LTE small cell technologies. It was a widely-reported-on move, including in top tech scoop outlets like TechCrunch, carrier industry specialists like Light Reading, and channel-specific publications like CRN and The VAR Guy.
Highlights from across Cisco this week:
- John Chambers talks up why today’s live sports experience is like never before
- Randy Pond looks back at the HIMSS conference and how the Internet of Everything is connected to cutting-edge healthcare IT
- The mobile phone is 40! Lauren Friedman shares cool infographics chronicling that history
- Meanwhile, Bob Friday urges us to look beyond the mobile phone and to next-wave mobility
- Ron Ricci warns about confusing technology with change management
- Padmasree Warrior checks in on what the next “chapter” of networking holds
- Patrick Finn discusses Cisco’s support of the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic
- Alexander Clemm analyzes manageability as the key concept in understanding SDN
- Only at Cisco do switches get a chance to write about themselves and celebrate product milestones. Happy birthday Sup720 is right!
Keep An Eye Out
- Cisco Marketing Velocity is fast approaching, and you can follow all the action @partnervelocity and here on the Channels blog as the conference gets underway April 15 in Cannes, France. Remember to follow and use the #mktgvelocity hashtag.
- Ayman Sayed, SVP of Cisco’s Network Operating Systems Group, will lead an April 9 webcast to discuss Cisco onePK and the Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE). ONE is a cornerstone of Cisco’s approach to make the network more flexible and programmable, and Ayman will be joined by top development partners who are working closely with the onePK platform.