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
It was a big week for collaboration and unified communications discussion as Enterprise Connect took place in Orlando. Cisco as usual had a lot to talk about, including what Richard McLeod, senior director, worldwide collaboration sales, described as very important enhancements to the Cisco telepresence portfolio.
Specifically, Richard notes, Cisco Telepresence is now Webex-enabled, and partners are also getting their first look at the DX360, the latest addition to Cisco’s desktop conferencing line. Both announcements represent upsell opportunities for Cisco collaboration partners and their customers, as Richard and other executives noted to CRN, Channelnomics and other press.
“Revisit your customer base and start briefing them today on the new capabilities,” Richard urges partners. “Use video in every customer interaction to demonstrate the value and ease of adding video to meetings. Train your sales teams to identify the right video tool for each customer’s use case, which will increase customer satisfaction. And go the extra mile to ensure customer adoption by offering end-user training and creative best practice documentation.”
The IoE Vision
If you were onsite at Enterprise Connect or watching the mainstage presentations remotely, you heard Rob Lloyd, Cisco president, development and sales, keep the dialogue going around the Internet of Everything. If you’ve been following the Channels blog and Cisco for a while, you know that this is an all-encompassing opportunity that’s very much going to define how technology is used, leveraged and integrated going forward. Cisco Chief Futurist Dave Evans talks often about the IoE concept, and as we noted here on the Channels blog recently, IoE represents potentially $14.4 trillion in disruptive innovation.
Rob himself discussed what this’ll mean to Cisco’s future in a Cisco Platform blog post this week: “The Internet of Everything has enormous potential to not only transform industries, but also to capture new business value. The Internet of Everything takes us to new levels of improving productivity, streamlining inefficient processes, making new connections, and improving customer experience and employee value. We’re creating new ways to work. Let’s get started.”
Software Updates: Getting Better All the Time
We can’t let the week pass without once again highlighting the work done by Cisco’s software simplification team to make the process of acquiring and managing Cisco software easier for partners. In case you missed it, Cisco Software Central is now live, and among other benefits, partners no longer have to reference different URLs and landing pages for different software needs – it’s all in one place.
Highlights from across Cisco this week:
- Hilton Romanski offers a nuanced perspective of Cisco’s current M&A strategy
- Wayne Greene shows what a successful private cloud looks like 18 months after turn-on
- Brian Christensen weighs in from a manager’s point of view on the recently controversial topic of telecommuting
- Ben Stricker wonders whether March Madness is a nightmare or a slam dunk for IT managers
- Shane Mitchell attempts to answer: What is a city, and how does it get smarter?
- Bill Rubino connects the dots between IPv6 upgrades and the coming 802.11ac trend
- Paul Schottmiller points to how big data might just save the physical store
- Laura Earle insists millennials are not from Mars
Keep An Eye Out
- Cisco’s data center and cloud teams this week kicked off a new series of webinars focused on the practical benefits of cloud computing. The next two are in mid-April, details are here.
- Partners focused on the education market might want to stay on top of Cisco EduForum 2013, the virtual event held this past week. Check out the event page for details on accessing archived content.
- The next webcast in Cisco’s ongoing Marketing Velocity On the Air series is “Building Effective Content Marketing Strategies To Drive Demand,” with special guest Heather Margolis, president of Channel Maven Consulting. The cast airs April 9, and registration is open.