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The Power Of Partnering: Microsoft Recognizes FlexPod Partner Innovation

Cisco is proud to celebrate its five years of partnering with NetApp in delivering unprecedented value to customers with the FlexPod integrated infrastructure solutions. This innovative collaboration has helped simplify and modernize enterprise IT so that organizations can achieve better business outcomes. In its first five years, FlexPod has experienced incredible growth, generating shared revenues of $5.6 billion. And today, more than 6,300 customer organizations and 1,100 partners worldwide have experienced how FlexPod lets them reimagine what technology can do.

The power of partnering with NetApp was further validated when Cisco and our partners were recently recognized as Microsoft Partners of the Year in two categories with integrated solutions built on FlexPod.


(L: Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, shares a special moment with Rick Snyder, SVP Americas Partner Organization at Cisco, at the 2015 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Orlando R: Jennifer Hewlett, Director of Global Technology and ISV Partner Marketing at Cisco receives the Microsoft Partner of the Year Award from Phil Sorgen, Corporate Vice President—WW Partner Group at Microsoft.  )

First, Cisco, NetApp and Dimension Data received Microsoft’s Partner of the Year Award in the Modern Data Center, Customer Focus, category for the work in creating the Zero Touch solution at ING Direct. Cisco, NetApp, Microsoft and Dimension Data teamed to create a fully integrated solution that enables ING DIRECT to meet its customers’ online needs by speeding the release of new products to market and never having to take any banking application down ever again. The solution implemented was Microsoft Private Cloud on FlexPod—a computing, networking, and storage solution developed by Cisco and NetApp.

Additionally, Cisco partner, Scalability Experts, was named the Microsoft Data Platform Partner of the Year for the amazing results attained with the SQL Server 2014 on FlexPod at Iforium.  For example, after testing up to 50,000 concurrent users of Iforium with the Flexpod Data Center for Microsoft Private Cloud, Scalability Experts found 208% faster transaction response times and 250% faster page response times which are impressive results especially when considering that a few millisecond differences in response times can mean the gain or loss of millions of dollars

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The Channel Company Presents Annual Best of Breed Event in Orlando

I’m back! Back on the Cisco Partner Blog for the first time in a fe#BoB15 Orlandow months, and back in Florida for the first time in a few years. I spent the early part of this week in Orlando at the Best of Breed event. As the weather has shifted to distinctly more “fall-like” back in North Carolina, it was nice to head south for a few days and enjoy a few last gasps of summer.

More importantly, it has been an opportunity to meet numerous influential executives from within the industry. There were many Cisco Partners here at the event and to have the opportunity to speak with them about working with Cisco is always valued. In addition, it’s always interesting to hear their takes on the speakers and information coming out of the event, as the partners are truly the guys on the front line with customers every single day.

CRYou might have seen, from the ongoing coverage of Best of Breed, that our new CEO, Chuck Robbins, was here to deliver the keynote, which was done in an interview style with the CEO of The Channel Company.

Chuck fielded questions about the recent Dell-EMC deal, the Cisco partnership with Apple, and his basketball playing days. Be sure to check out the interview with Chuck and subsequent stories from CRN, including what he forecasts about Apple’s relationship with the channel.

I had several partners tell me this week how happy they were to see Chuck at the event and how it showed them consistent, ongoing commitment to the channel from Cisco. That is great feedback and we are indeed committed to our partners at Cisco. We do understand how important the channel is to our business.

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – October 9, 2015


Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

A Rejuvenated Marketing Velocity Program Hits the Gas for Partners

Cisco’s Marketing Velocity has always been known to partners as the award winning annual event where we share innovations and thought leadership to help partners accelerate sales.

Bryan Sherlock stopped by the partner blog to make sure everyone knows the newly rejuvenated Marketing Velocity is an always-on program for partners, now offering expanded eLearning courses, a shareable content hub, On-the-Air webcast series, and more. Check out his blog to see how you can start taking advantage today.

Cisco Global Editors Conference 2015

The 2015 Cisco Global Editors Conference took place beginning of this week in San Jose, CA. Expectedly, there was a lot of buzz and coverage as new Cisco CEO, Chuck Robbins, made his first external keynote to press.RobbinsGEC

While you can look back at the #CiscoGEC hashtag to see what took shape and resonated on social, I grabbed some of the top articles coming out of the event that I thought would be of interest to our partners:

And finally, here’s what attendees had to say about the big week!

As always, let us know what you think of the blog. Feedback from partners, especially around partner programs, is vital for Cisco to keep producing programs that work for all of us.

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Marketing Velocity – Hit the Gas or the Brakes?

Where is marketing going?  Just a few years ago it was “relatively easy” to reach audiences through traditional vehicles like TV, radio and display… remember those days?  It just took a healthy advertising budget and you were on your way to millions of units sold!  The Mad Men days are behind us, but that doesn’t mean they are gone.  In fact, quite the opposite, now as marketers we have to be even more creative, more cunning and way more in tune with the tastes of audiences.

Attention spans are limited to 140-characters… (Have I lost you already?) People want to be fed stories that intersect at the junction of the right content, at the right time, and all on the right vehicle.  To the marketer this sounds more the like corner of “isn’t going to happen,” and “is it 5pm yet?”  But it doesn’t have to be that way!  Don’t despair.  While we don’t have all the answers for partners, we want to help you get there!  After all, your success as marketers and reaching your customers ultimately helps us too!

Enter from stage left … a rejuvenated Marketing Velocity.

While many partners are aware of Marketing Velocity as an award winning event Cisco has offered throughout the year and most recently with Partner Summit 2015.  We have checked the rear view mirror and are punching the proverbial gas.  Marketing is changing at such an incredible rate of speed (pun intended), that Marketing Velocity has to match. But, not how you might think.  The goal of the Marketing Velocity program is to enlighten, educate and arm you to succeed in reaching your customers.  This is something that an annual event could not provide at such a high rate of speed.

Cisco Marketing eLearning

We have expanded the Marketing Velocity eLearning with new courses.  You are no longer required to take multiple courses to receive certification.  With Marketing eLearning courses, we simply want to provide you with great content to enhance the way you market today.  We have segmented eLearning into four buckets for ease:

Marketing Fundamentals – courses designed to help you market effectively, from the basics to more advanced skills

Marketing with Cisco – train yourself on how to implement Cisco technologies, Partner Marketing Central and other Cisco generated marketing capabilities

Revenue Marketing – access courses on this growing marketing endeavor to help you increase sales that you may have never thought of before

Digital Marketing – bring your skills up to speed with the latest in Social Media, Web and marketing automation techniques

As if that’s not enough!  Partners have expressed how much they enjoy the caliber of speakers offered during the Marketing Velocity event.  Now we have created a speaker series offered year round.  The Marketing Velocity On-the-Air webcast series enlists the advice of industry experts.  Get guidance from the industries’ best, like Jay Baer, the most retweeted man on the web amongst digital marketers, insight from a little search company called Google, and other webcasts on new marketing techniques to the power of analytics.

Still not enough good stuff?  This is the icing on the cake…


How about an always-on content hub that pulls marketing best practices from across the Web?  The Marketing Velocity Hub has been created to align Cisco marketing campaigns with best practices.  The Hub also gives you easy access to Marketing eLearning and the On-the-Air webcasts.  We think of this as an information board and welcome your feedback in the Marketing Velocity Community.  We want to hear from you, especially related to what you see as best practices – what we might be missing and what we might be doing right.

Now is your time, we just want to help you step on the gas!

Here is a quick list of links mentioned above:

We always love to hear feedback. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – October 2, 2015


Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

Lead Cloud Disruption and Adoption. We’re with You

We have another partner blogger debut this week as Christian Treille joined us to discuss the recently launched Cisco Business Cloud Advisor – a framework to help customers take actionable cloud adoption plans.

Now we’ve made it available for partners.

Given the advantage this tool can provide our partners, I’m not surprised the Director of Cloud and Managed Services, Partner Enablement, decided to make this his first topic as a partner blogger. Be sure to read his post to see how cisco partners and their customers can benefit.

CRN – 100 People You Don’t Know But Should

I always love CRN’s annual tribute to the “behind-the-scenes channel players worthy of  attention.” For the 2015 edition, Cisco had three of their very own featured! Join me in congratulating Bridget Bisnette, Sr. Director, Partner Marketing; Scott Herron, Sr. Director, Global Customer Success; and Peder Ulander, VP, Cloud and Managed Services Partner organization.

CRN sums up the recognition as follows: “The technology industry is filled with rock stars, high-profile executives who stand in the spotlight at partner conferences and technology events to present the world with the industry’s latest achievements. But delivering these breakthroughs to the world is hardly a one-man show and behind these executives stand the unsung heroes, the shining stars on vendors’ channel management teams.”

Again, we welcome you to take a moment to congratulate Bridget, Scott and Peder for being recognized for all of their hard work.

Wendy Bahr Sits Down with Channel World India

 Wendy BahrCisco’s SVP of the Global Partner Organization, Wendy Bahr, took a moment on her recent trip to India to chat with Yogesh Gupta of Channel World India.

As you can imagine, she’s been quite busy during the first 2.5 months in her new role. This interview is a great way to get you up to speed on what she’s been focused on, her channel and partner priorities, and lots more. I highly encourage you to check it out.

As always, let us know what you think of the blog. Feedback from partners, especially around partner programs, is vital for Cisco to keep producing programs that work for all of us.

Good Reads

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