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
Cisco Live took place in Orlando this week, bringing about 22,000 in-person participants and more than 250,000 virtually. A lot of what happens at this event has direct bearing on Cisco partners, so check out our recap of Cisco Live news, presentations, messages and on-the-scene activities.
The Cisco Powered team was also onsite at Cisco Live, showcasing the work of our important Cloud and Managed Services partners throughout the week. Stay up to date on what they’re working on through their Twitter handle (@Cisco_Powered) and Facebook page.
Read on for all of this week’s hot topics.
Small Business Needs
Right-sizing the network is a priority for businesses of any size, but it’s particularly tricky in small businesses, many of which are growing quickly, with network connectivity needs that change all the time.
Cisco Product Manager Marc Nagao walked partners through these business challenges in a Cisco Channels blog post earlier this week, and also highlighted some new additions to Cisco’s small business product portfolio.
Partner Summit Demos
We wrapped up official coverage of Partner Summit 2013 last week, but the conversations are only beginning, and we’ll be continuing to return to many of Partner Summit’s key themes and takeaways throughout the next few months.
For now, several partners have asked us where they could find video of the General Session demonstrations conducted in Boston. We’re happy to report that demo videos from both John Chambers’ session and Rob Lloyd’s session are now available. Watch below:
Succession Planning Needs
In case you missed it, this month’s installment of the ongoing Cisco Partner Talent blog series covered succession planning, and how to make sure you’re nurturing, not alienating, your most talented employees.
As Kaycee Tan writes, “In a fast moving, global and knowledge-based economy, survival depends on having a workforce that’s agile, creative and engaged, and that requires a developmental mentality. Business leaders need to take a more proactive and strategic approach in order to avoid wasting talent. That starts with understanding why certain cost-cutting measures, while well-intended, could actually be hurting your chances to develop talented employees.”
Getting A Handle On UC&C
We’ve been collaborating with Dimension Data on a new monthly blog series looking at unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) and how customer buying behaviors are evolving. Dimension Data’s 2013 Global UC&C Survey, conducted with ICT researcher Ovum, has turned up some fascinating statistics and trends, and for the second post in this series, we asked Scott Cruikshank, director of converged communications for Dimension Data North America, to talk through why UC&C shouldn’t be viewed as a technology acquisition so much as a business outcome.
“I like to use ERP systems as an analogy,” Scott said. “Organizations implement ERP systems to make the functional units perform better by integrating all of the functions of business into a single database. Prior to ERP roll-out, organizations spent a tremendous amount of time reviewing the functional requirements of the business to ensure its success. UCC should be viewed the same way. We need to understand the functional communication requirements of the business and the users prior to rolling out the technology.”
We already shared plenty of Cisco Live-related posts, but here are a few other highlights from around Cisco this week:
- Carl Wiese shares thoughts on the evolution of collaboration
- Bill Shields previews Cisco data center solutions on view at Microsoft’s upcoming Worldwide Partner Conference
- Joseph Bradley wonders what CEOs really care about in a hyper-connected word
- William Gustafson spotlights Cisco’s role in the HITEC hospitality technology conference
- Matt Bolick talks up new Cisco technology for branch offices
- Doug Webster explores mobile satellite communications solutions
- Ali Ahmed says it takes a village to green a city
- Joann Starke suggests the next-gen Cisco data center has “warp speed potential”
Keep An Eye Out
- Thanks to everyone who joined our Marketing Velocity On the Air webcast this week on Customer-Focused Nurture Campaigns. Head to our Marketing Velocity page for full details about all of our upcoming and archived webcasts.
- When you have a second, stop on by the Cisco Partner Event calendar for the latest information on Cisco partner gatherings.