That’s A Wrap: Cisco Partner Summit Summary and Takeaways
It was a great Cisco Partner Summit, and whether you joined us live in Boston last week or participated in Virtual Partner Summit, we hope you found the sessions, discussions, networking and parties as valuable, nurturing and fun as we did. Watch this video for a look back at the week that was:
Partner Summit may be over, but the key conversations that highlighted the event are just beginning. Over the next two weeks, we’ll be looking in detail at many of those conversations, from partner evolution to services and technology innovation. Check back often for new interviews with our executives and partners, and get ready to advance these discussions over the next few months. We’ll also be announcing our Partner Summit contest winners this week so stay tuned!
For now, let’s rewind and cover the big news and events of Partner Summit day by day. We also have an executive summary that you can download of all the major news and partner announcements from Partner Summit 2013.
Partner Summit 2013 kicked off with a call to action: the industry’s never undergone so much change so rapidly, but Cisco’s technology and partnering strategies are the one best equipped to help partners go after all of that opportunity. “Together, we’re in a perfect position to capture what’s in front of us,” said Bruce Klein, SVP, worldwide partner organization (WWPO), in the start of his first Partner Summit keynote as WWPO chief.
The theme of Partner Summit 2013 was today|tomorrow|together, and the idea of it was not only to highlight Cisco’s long track record of channel partnerships and partner enablement, but also to look ahead and remember that only together will Cisco and its partners continue to thrive.
“We’re far from perfect, but we partner for life,” Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers told the audience during his Day 1 keynote. “You’re making a three, five, 10-year commitment and we must be committed to you with consistency of programs, be realistic in how we win together, and understand how to readjust ourselves in a market changing with tremendous speed.”
There are enormous, multi-billion-dollar opportunities awaiting partners in areas such as the midmarket and cloud, around both of which Cisco made major announcements during the week. Overall, Bruce urged partners to unleash the “ecosystem effect” and offer true business solutions that cover hardware, software, and services, and integrate those elements in a way that creates a business outcome for customers. Edison Peres, SVP, worldwide channels, urged partners to focus on three priorities:
- Make hybrid IT a foundation of your value proposition
- Lead with solutions and professional services
- Transition your sales teams to address new buying centers
Business transformation, said Edison, is “kind of like remodeling an airplane while it’s flying and there are people on it. We know it’s not easy. But if you focus on these three areas today, you will be well on your way to a successful tomorrow.”
- Partner Summit Day 1: The Ecosystem Effect
- A Cloud Partner Program Like No Other In The Channel
- How Cisco Partners Win In the Midmarket
The second day of Partner Summit got into the meat of Cisco’s value proposition for customers: why our architecture-based strategy of hardware, software, ASICs and services aligns most closely to the way technology professionals want to buy their IT going forward. We heard from Padmasree Warrior, chief strategy and technology officer, about how Cisco and its partners can create value in the infrastructure layer, the platform layer and the application layer of the network, and also offer customers a fuller set of options for network programmability versus what many other vendors define as “software-defined networking.”
We also heard from Rob Lloyd, president, development and sales, about how it’s time for Cisco to step up, beat back competitors, and help customers solve the business challenges presented by so much change in the industry. And we heard from Edzard Overbeek, SVP, global services, who reminded partners that for every dollar of Cisco product sold, services can generate $3-$7 dollars on top of that, and that Cisco is working tirelessly on services programs and enablement to help partners capture all of those opportunities.
- Partner Summit Day 2: Simplicity, Flexibility, Agility
- Cisco Honors Global Partner Award Winners At Partner Summit 2013
Partner Summit Day 3 was all about taking stock and looking ahead to the opportunities that await Cisco partners. We spent time in business transformation sessions, heard an inspiring talk on leadership from Mark C. Thompson, CEO and co-founder of Virgil Unite Mentors, and listened to Chuck Robbins, SVP, Worldwide Field Operations, connect the dots on where we’ve been, what we’re doing and where we’re headed next as the industry’s most exciting partner community.
“We want you to understand that we are absolutely committed to you, and that will not change,” Chuck stressed, re-emphasizing the theme of togetherness as Cisco and its partners charge forth to capture opportunities at every corner of the industry.
We ended our week here on the Cisco Channels blog with an important message from John Chambers. John’s enthusiasm for partners is above all genuine, so make sure you hear his takeaways from Partner Summit.