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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – September 19, 2014

September 19, 2014 at 8:02 am PST

Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner 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

Cisco made an exciting announcement this week in security this week with the industry’s first threat-focused next generation firewall – the Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services – as well as enhancements to Cisco’s Security Channel Partner Program. Al Jacobellis provides an overview and discusses two major security specializations and incentive programs to help drive growth and relevance for our partners in his blog Igniting Security at Cisco.

Starting the Conversation with Business Outcomes

In Grow Your Leads and Increase Deal Size with Personalization, Marlowe Fenne (@mfenne) details how a small innovative team at Cisco is meeting with all kinds of success when beginning customer meetings with a discussion that focuses on customer-centric goals – business outcomes – to get a heart at the solution selling.  Starting the conversation this way at recent events increased the number of qualified lasts by 27 percent and the average deal size by 70 percent.

Wow, who wouldn’t want to enjoy this bump in the bottomline? If you’ll be at upcoming Cisco event like Interop (Sept. 29 – Oct. 3), stop by and ask to participate in a VIP Booth Tour. Read More »

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Four More Awards for the Cisco IT Team and Cisco Prime Service Catalog

The Cisco IT internal implementation of Cisco Prime Service Catalog, dubbed the Cisco IT “eStore”, is no stranger to awards. Earlier this year, the Cisco IT eStore ranked in the InformationWeek Elite 100 and was nominated a finalist for the Consumerization of IT in the Enterprise (CITE) award.

If you aren’t familiar with the Cisco IT eStore and Cisco Prime Service Catalog, this intro video provides a great overview:

Now we are very proud to announce that Cisco IT has won not just one more, but four new honors: the 2014 “Stevie” Awards from International Business Awards.

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The Stevie Awards, which honor and generate public recognition of achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals, feature some of the most exciting work in business and information technology.

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This year, the team behind the Cisco IT eStore was recognized with a Gold Stevie Award for Information Technology Team of the Year. As this internal implementation of Cisco Prime Service Catalog grows in scale, this team has been working to rapidly deploy new services (whether desktop applications or data center infrastructure) and new capabilities (e.g. a new mobile interface) to provide a single, one-stop shop for all IT services at Cisco.  It’s effectively the internal “IT app store” within Cisco for all employees.

For more information on the Cisco IT eStore initiative, you can check out the case study here, my write-up on the eStore here, Adel du Toit’s blog post on the Cisco IT initiative here, and a great overview session from our recent Cisco Live conference here.

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Cisco IT also took home a Silver Stevie Award for their innovative work on our internal Lightweight Application Environment (LAE) – an innovative platform-as-a-service deployment that’s also powered by Cisco Prime Service Catalog as well as other tools including Jenkins and OpenShift.

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Within Cisco, we have a private cloud – dubbed the Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services (CITEIS) – that offers infrastructure-as-a-service with ready-to-go server, storage, and network resources for development teams.  Together, CITEIS and the Lightweight Application Environment allow Cisco application developers to focus on application coding and testing, not on the underlying infrastructure or platform. The LAE is called “lightweight” because the ordering and provisioning processes places very light demands on developers.

For both and CITEIS and LAE, the eStore (Cisco Prime Service Catalog) gives developers an easy-to-use, self-service portal for ordering and provisioning their application environment – providing on-demand access to the infrastructure as well as the required operating system, middleware, and system functions without manual provisioning by Cisco IT. All the resources they need are delivered just a few minutes after the developer orders them.  Here’s an example screenshot:

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You can read more about how Cisco IT enabled this Lightweight Application Environment in this blog post here.

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The final two Stevie Awards for Cisco IT this year were a Silver & Bronze medal for the Information Technology Executive of the year – awarded to our very own V C Gopalratnam (Cisco IT Vice President) and Michael Myers (Cisco’s Senior Director of Information Systems for Cloud Orchestration and Platform Service) respectively.

V C and Michael have played key roles in both the aforementioned CITEIS and LAE initiatives, enabling IaaS and PaaS via the Cisco IT eStore and Cisco Prime Service Catalog. We’re excited that these executives are being recognized for their leadership, and we look forward to what lies ahead for the Cisco IT and eStore team going forward.

If you aren’t already, be sure to follow @CiscoUM and @CiscoIT for the latest updates in these areas on twitter. Also visit cisco.com/go/service-catalog for more info on Cisco Prime Service Catalog.

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – August 22, 2014

August 22, 2014 at 7:30 am PST

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner 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

This week Cisco won several of CRN’s Annual Report Card (ARC) awards presented at this week’s XChange event in San Antonio.  Faisal Hanafi, Steve Benvenuto and Ricardo Moreno (@RicardoMoreno) from Cisco were on hand to receive the honors.

We take great pride in winning these awards, but all of us at Cisco realize that we don’t win awards like this without the efforts of loyalty and our partners. We are only successful when you’re successful!

With a focus on “Elevating the Customer Experience,” the XChange event brought together a strong line-up of speakers, favorite great example being Seth Mattison of FutureSight Labs who talked about how we build connections are changing in the Digital Age. I also appreciated the insight of Gary Pica from TruMethods and the idea of unlocking your personal super power.

You can read all about both of these speakers and all the other exciting speakers from earlier posts. The team and I enjoyed meeting with many of you in Texas and we look forward to our next face-to-face event – the Best of Breed (BOB) Conference in October. Read More »

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Double Winner: Cisco Wins Information Security Awards at CSO40

CSO40 Award Ceremony

CSO40 Award Ceremony

The city in the forest—Atlanta, Georgia—extended a double dose of Southern charm to Cisco in April by awarding two prestigious information security industry awards at the 2nd Annual CSO40 Awards. The awards program recognizes projects and initiatives demonstrating innovative use of security in delivering outstanding business value.

Top honors went to the teams representing Cisco’s Enterprise ACL Management (EACLM) and Unified Security Metrics (USM) projects. Team members included: EACLM – Mark Sullivan, Network Engineer and Oisin MacAlasdair, Technical Staff and Security Prime for networking; USM – Gerwin Tijink, Information Security (InfoSec) Architect, Hessel Heerebout, USM Program Manager, and Ranjan Jain, IT Architect and Security Prime.

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Enterprise Mobility and the Award-Winning Cisco Prime Service Catalog

We are proud to announce that the Cisco IT internal implementation of Cisco Prime Service Catalog, dubbed the Cisco IT “eStore”, was honored (and ranked #25) in the InformationWeek Elite 100 awards this week – as one of the most innovative uses of business technology in 2014. You can read more about the awards here.

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(If you haven’t heard about Cisco IT’s eStore, be sure to check out my recent write-up about eStore. You can also read the case study here, and read more from Adel du Toit who blogged about Cisco IT’s initiative here last June.)

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The Cisco IT eStore was also nominated as a finalist for a Consumerization of IT in the Enterprise (CITE) award. Stay tuned as the award winners will be announced at the CITE conference at the end of this month.

We are thrilled to see Cisco IT being recognized for it’s internal Cisco Prime Service Catalog deployment.  It’s a great testament to the innovative partnership between our product engineering teams and our internal IT organization.

That’s not all … This week at Interop Las Vegas, adjacent to the InformationWeek Elite 100 awards ceremony, was the announcement of the new Cisco Mobile Workplace Solution – where Cisco Prime Service Catalog serves as the unified IT storefront for mobility services (you can read a great overview of the new solution from Jonathan’s blog post here). We showcased a live demo of the award-winning Cisco IT internal implementation of the Cisco Prime Service Catalog: the Cisco IT eStore.

As enterprise IT organizations adopt and implement their mobility strategies, they are learning just how much their end users expect and need in today’s increasingly mobile environment. For example, they need a simple, easy-to-use, and automated solution for ordering all of the mobility and other workplace services an IT organization may offer – rather than having separate portals for requesting smartphones, tablets, mobile apps, desktop software, laptops, or BYOD services. A unified service catalog and single access point for all IT services increases workforce productivity, with a better employee experience and improved satisfaction with IT.

As Jonathan describes in the blog post linked above, organizations typically begin from a device-focused approach. IT often focuses on corporate-liable devices or employee owned devices, providing an easy way to onboard these devices and access basic services. Then, organizations progress to the application-focused phase, where the enterprise leverages mobile applications to provide productivity and empower employees.

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The third and final step in the enterprise mobility journey is experience-focused. After having fulfilled the initial device-focused and app-focused stages, organizations are becoming experience-focused and prioritizing service automation to improve the employee experience and provide an easy-to-use, automated self-service experience.

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