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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – May 15, 2015

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2

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

Earlier this week, Richard McLeod took a look at the collaboration offers from Partner Summit 2015. He provided everything you need to know about the latest and greatest promotions from the collaboration team. I encourage you to read his blog and let us know what you think!

Introducing Cisco Refresh

Alastair Borissow joined the Cisco Partner Blog for the first time this week. Please welcome him to our great group of bloggers.

Alastair was on hand this week to talk about the evolution of the Cisco Certified Refurbished Equipment program into the new Cisco Refresh.

Reset Your Sales Focus to Gain the Biggest Returns

Long time guest blogger Karin Surber brought her expertise back to the Partner Blog this week as well. In her ongoing series on success in sales organizations, she took a look at how to re-energize your sales team and keep them on top of the latest trends.

She also included some videos that are definitely worth a quick look as they show how that approach translates into closed deals. Read More »

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How IoE Enabled the Automotive Connected Factory of the Future

For most manufacturing companies today, product and services innovation, the introduction of new models, and the need for flexibility and workforce engagement are some of the business drivers requiring a new way to look at factory automation. Often, the ideal opportunity to tackle these challenges arises when a company is expanding capacity or building a new production facility ‘greenfield’. The Internet of Everything plays into this opportunity perfectly as easier and more seamless ways to connect people, process and data have emerged. Mahindra and Mahindra, one of India’s leading automakers, seized just that opportunity to deploy a Connected Factory of the future, building the Chakan facility north of Pune in Maharashtra, to expand capacity on existing models and introduce brand new Mahindra model categories. Read More »

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Opportunities and Value Through Data Science (Part 1)

I recently attended the Strata + Hadoop World Conference in San Jose, and came away impressed with the accelerating pace of innovation in the world of Big Data. Companies and startups are innovating in every area of the Big Data value chain – from automating how data is collected, cleaned, and organized; to data governance and management; to data storage using a plethora of NoSQL database technologies; and to the numerous emerging tools for data science. Read More »

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Reset Your Sales Focus to Gain the Biggest Returns

Most sales professionals hit the ground running every work day, focused on meeting with customers and prospects, doing what we can to move deals forward, and completing a multitude of other tasks necessary to get the job done.  Often the weeks fly by without the chance to step back to take a breath and look at the bigger picture. But one of the most impactful things you can do for your business is to take the time to re-establish priorities and objectives for the coming year. Most larger companies have formal planning processes but smaller businesses and individuals often neglect this aspect of their business.

For most sales people, their focus and priorities are governed by their employer’s objectives. This works well for setting annual sales goals and associated job duties.  But the business climate is changing at an astoundingly fast pace. Companies and individuals who don’t keep their finger on the pulse of industry changes miss the opportunity to stay in front of the competition. This translates to lost sales and credibility gaps with customers.

Looking for ways to reenergize your sales focus and stay on top of trends? Follow these tips:

  • At least once a quarter, meet with your sales team to share insights on any new trends, concerns or opportunities you are seeing in your market over and above the day to day operational focus.
  • Make sure you subscribe to at least two trade magazines, BLOGS or RSS feeds to keep up industry changes and announcements.
  • Schedule time on your weekly calendar to actually read the magazines, BLOGS and feeds.
  • Make a mental point to share your insights with customers and business partners to heighten your credibility as a go-to expert.
  • Network with peers and new prospects on an ongoing basis. Networking is one of the most effective ways to find prospects and keep up to date with your local market.
  • Attend at least one tradeshow or industry specific training event annually to maximize your exposure and keep up with new learnings.

Read More »

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#DigitalTransformation Fueling the Need for Workforce Transformation

Digital disruption is transforming virtually every role in every industry. Every day I see how the proliferation of online, mobile, and social interactions has created the need for completely new marketing strategies—and completely new skillsets for marketing professionals. We can see this same disruption across industries, as the Internet of Everything (IoE) creates fundamental transformation through the networked connection of people, process, data, and things.

For example, we recently published a new report that shows a global oil and gas (O&G) industry awash with disruption, and primed for digital transformation. Low oil prices have upended the sector, spurring an urgent rethinking of strategy by oil and gas executives—and accelerating the adoption of IoE.

This disruption is one of many factors impacting the oil and gas workforce today—from field workers all the way to the executive suite. Not only will new skills be required in an industry transformed by IoE, but new digital processes will also be needed to transfer knowledge, collaborate to solve problems in real time, and capture insights from a torrent of digital data.

To become agile enough to compete in the IoE Era, the oil and gas workforce must possess a mix of technical skills, industry knowledge, and business acumen. With talent shortages due to massive numbers of professionals retiring over the next few years—and a lack of necessary digital skills among those who remain— O&G firms need to make bold moves to transform their workforce strategy.

  1. Extend the reach of existing expertise –Video-based collaboration can help bridge the expected talent gap by making the most of professional expertise that is spread too thin, as well as providing ongoing training throughout the organization. Video and web collaboration can effectively bring remote experts to any location, without the need for travel. For example, Saipem, an Italian oilfield services company, has employed high-definition video conferencing to cut travel costs, boost productivity, and provide subject-matter expertise throughout the company and with partners.

Real-time collaboration tools are increasingly important for far-flung oil and gas organizations.

Read More »

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