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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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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – September 12, 2014

September 12, 2014 at 7:49 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

The key takeaway in this week’s Cisco Partner blog is the power shift in the tech buying centers to lines of business decision makers for greater business outcomes.

Raja Sundaram (@rajasundaram) details the changing IT consumption economics and how it’s impacting the business of technology. As such customers are looking for more from their partners. They’re looking for partners to help them to share the risk and reward, and even guarantee a specific business outcome. Cisco’s portfolio and partner programs are evolving to address the shift – all of which make for increased partner opportunity and profitability.

Additionally, Marlowe Fenne (@mfenne) highlights a new “intelligence” tool for partners called Solution Central that unlocks new sales opportunities by narrowing in on the business priorities of your customer. Each of these business priorities is linked to a specific Cisco Enterprise Networks solution, and it includes relevant solution capabilities, case studies, overviews, and links to key assets that will help you create new opportunities. Bookmark this page – you won’t regret it.

Partner Solution Central page Read More »

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Indoor Wi-Fi Location and Beacons: Better Together Part 2

wifibeaconLocation-based services have been getting a lot of attention lately and people are increasingly curious about how Wi-Fi and beacons play together in the hot space that is indoor location technology. In my last blog I reviewed how beacons work and how to differentiate when to use Wi-Fi and beacons. There’ve been some great questions about beacon technology and how it complements Cisco’s location-based Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution, so I want to follow up on these topics with everyone.

What types of beacons are there?

Generally, there are two different classes of beacons: transmit only and backhaul enabled.

Transmit only beacons are exactly as they sound -- they simply transmit information to anyone that is capable of hearing (bluetooth enabled smartphones). They do not receive or pass any data or information upstream.

Apple’s iBeacon is the best example of this type of BLE beacon. You can think of them like the navigational beacons used by airplanes when on approach to major airports. The beacon doesn’t even know the plane is there, but the plane is aware of the beacon and knows where the beacon is allowing it to take the correct action. Same is true for smartphones and transmit only beacons like iBeacon -- the intelligence is located in the mobile application which must recognize the beacon and take appropriate action.

Backhaul enabled beacons generally include a Wi-Fi chipset for either management or data capabilities. Some backhaul enabled beacons are USB enabled and take advantage of whatever connectivity exists within the PC they are connected. Read More »

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Three Steps for IT to Deliver Better Business Results

The situation that many IT people find themselves in today is dripping with irony. They’ve deployed so many innovations over the years to address so many business challenges, that now most of their time is dedicated to simply keeping their systems running. Without incremental resources during these lean budget times, their new innovation cycles decline in direct proportion to their past innovations.

Given the current budget realities, how can IT break out of this innovation trap?

Read More »

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Indoor WiFi Location and Beacons: Better Together

wifibeaconIn just two years, indoor location technology has taken off and attracted a lot of buzz across industries, from retailers to healthcare. But it’s no longer a conversation about just Wi-Fi – the introduction of beacon devices, including iBeacon, has added a new dimension to location technology for IT and their line of business counterparts to grapple with on how to leverage it to better reach their customer base.

Some customers have been asking about beacon technology and how it fits in with Wi-Fi, so let’s start from the beginning:

How do beacons work?

Beacons are sensors that send out Bluetooth low energy (BLE) tracking tags.  These sensors can be placed around a venue, such as a store, and a mobile device can pick up the BLE signal and determine that it is in close proximity. When a mobile app is built off of this technology, it can be used in interesting ways to interact with the end user, such as notifying a customer of a promotion for an item they are close to.

I’m having trouble differentiating Wi-Fi and beacons. What do I need to know? Read More »

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