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Open innovation: Harnessing the ideas, talent and passion of the startup eco-system

What does an already innovative company like Cisco do more to innovate?  What do we need to do differently to influence or shape the next breakthrough that will fundamentally change our industry and Cisco?  As we embark on a journey to transform Cisco into a #1 IT solution provider, we know we must innovate more and faster – and spot the next industry-shaping change before it catches our industry off-guard.

We believe one of the key strategies for reinventing innovation at Cisco is to embrace openness.  Open innovation is a concept developed and evangelized by leading organizational experts, including Dr. Henry Chesbrough, the Executive Director of the Program in Open Innovation at UC Berkeley.  It focuses on how organizations can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas – and internal and external paths to market1.  Open innovation enables us to stay abreast of and shape the next big change that is going to impact Cisco and our industry.

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Cisco Partner Summit Day 1: The Ecosystem Advantage

Away we go! Cisco Partner Summit officially kicked off today in Las Vegas. After weeks of anticipation, thousands of partners are getting the latest updates from Cisco here at the event, or via Virtual Partner Summit (VPS).

Partners entered the general session this morning to hear from John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Bruce Klein, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Partner Organization, and Edison Peres, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Channels.

Today’s presentations were all about strategy and how Cisco’s growing Partner Ecosystem will help both Cisco and its partners thrive. We got the chance to catch up with partners to hear their perspectives on today’s General Session. Here’s what they had to say:

Read on for a full recap of today’s General Session. Read More »

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Introducing the Next Generation Cisco Channel Partner Program

The Cisco Channel Partner Program has always focused on value versus volume, rewarding partners who create value, no matter their size or sales volume. The program has evolved over time to identify market transitions, enable our partners through these transitions and recognize partners for their practices. With major market transitions happening today, our channel partners have unique opportunities to once again evolve their business models and offer even more value to their customers, while at the same time, differentiating themselves and growing profitably.

To that end, today at the Cisco Partner Summit 2014, we are announcing the next generation of Cisco’s Channel Partner Program, which is a critical component of the Cisco Partner Ecosystem that Bruce Klein, SVP of Cisco’s Worldwide Partner Organization, is also unveiling today.

The next generation channel program will enable and reward partners for adopting new consumption models and reaching new buying centers, with an emphasis on solutions, hybrid IT, and architectures. Channel partners will see changes across Certifications, Specializations and Incentives. Partners will generally have 16-24 months to transition to the new requirements. Read More »

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Not All 802.11ac AP’s are Created Equal: Built-for-Purpose vs. Purpose-Built

As more and more 802.11ac devices come to the market this year, businesses need to make sure the best possible 802.11ac wireless infrastructure gets deployed to make sure those 802.11ac end points are performing at both the best possible data rates and application throughputs to maximize the move to  802.11ac.

Cisco’s Aironet 3700 with HDX Technology does just that. If you’re thinking that the 3700 is just another 802.11ac AP,  think again: not all 802.11ac AP’s are created equal.

To demonstrate this, let’s take a Cisco 3700 access point..

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When you open a Cisco AP, you will see dedicated memory (RAM) on the radio chipset itself (one on the 2.4 GHz radio, another on the 5 Ghz radio) to ensure the RF packets get processed “onboard” each radio instead of “offboard” in order to reduce latency and any packet processing collision from memory contention on the AP. Additional packet processing can be handled  on the “offboard” memory that is part of the network processor portion of the AP platform as well. This unique, innovative ASIC-based Wi-Fi chipset by Cisco exemplifies the built-for-Purpose design, and is the hallmark of Cisco’s 3700 Series AP.

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Contrast this with the competitive landscape that claims to be Purpose-Built, but in reality is leveraging off-the-shelf merchant silicon-based 802.11ac WiFi chipsets. Read More »

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Partners and Cisco UCS + ACI = Amazing Together

Today at Cisco we announced the fifth anniversary of the Unified Computing System (UCS), along with innovations in our Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) portfolio.

It’s pretty exciting considering that when we entered the server market five years ago, there were questions about what we were doing. Was it the right play? Could Cisco be successful in this new market? Well history has borne out that it was indeed a good idea. With the help of our channel partners we have gone from “zero to hero.”  Our partnerships with our channel and technology partners took us from not being a player in this space to becoming a multi-billion dollar business with over 30,000 UCS customers worldwide.

More than 80 percent of all Cisco UCS sales go through our channel partners, and we are now ranked second worldwide in x86 blade server revenue market share. These accomplishments are nothing to sneeze at, and we know just how important it has been to work with our partners to make such a rapid move in this market. Cisco’s data center partner community continues to thrive and grow, with partners investing in their data center practices using Cisco UCS as a foundation.  We have more than 3,850 channel partners that sell Cisco UCS today, with more than half of them possessing UCS Specialization credentials.  In fact, a year ago, in Q2FY13, there were about 1,600 Cisco Specialized partners on UCS. In Q2FY14 a year later, Cisco had approximately 2,000 UCS Specialized partners – a 25% increase over the previous year. Read More »

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