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Cisco Wins Record Awards at XChange, Thanks to Partner Votes

Last week in Dallas I had the opportunity to attend “XChange 2012” an event that brings together a number of industry experts and solutions providers for a dialog around the changes happening in the industry and a great opportunity to network.

Each year at this event UBM Channel presents the ARC Awards, short for Annual Report Card, which gives partners the opportunity to rate their vendors in a number of categories.

I’m proud to say that Cisco took home 16 ARC Awards capped off by five overall awards including  Enterprise Networking Infrastructure, Network Security Appliance and SMB Networking Hardware.  We won the overall in Unified Communications for the ninth consecutive year and finally, took home the top prize for Midrange Servers, beating IBM and HP in our first year competing in this category.

Not only is this the first time in Cisco’s history we’ve won all of the categories we entered, Cisco is the only vendor to have won this many categories at the event. These awards are thanks to you, our partners, and I had a chance to talk to some of the partners who attended the event. Here’s what they had to say.

What else happened at the event?

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Wendy Bahr to Lead Cisco’s Americas Partner Organization

Today, I’d like to thank an old friend and welcome back a familiar face.

Jim Sherriff, the leader of the Americas Partner Organization and previously the US and Canada Partner Organization for the past two years, has accepted a new role working with Rob Lloyd on the Worldwide Sales Operations team.

Among other responsibilities, Jim will lead our global efforts to bring greater capabilities and efficiency to our sales process by assuming sales leadership for ACT (Accelerated Cisco Transformation). ACT is Cisco’s multi-year program to fuel growth by enhancing our operating model, ensuring world-class execution, efficiency, and ease of doing business. Jim will report directly to Rob Lloyd.

The Americas Partner Organization has made great strides in driving partner profitability under Jim’s direction through three key areas of focus: enabling partners to capture new markets faster, increasing customer segment impact, and driving improved operational efficiency.

Jim and his team initiated and led the “the 1% solution,” a series of initiatives to improve operational efficiency with early successes including the Audit Certification team that helps partners reduce the cost of re-certification, and introduction of The SELL (Sales Enablement Learning Lifecycle), a valuable resource for our partners to help them on-board and develop their sales professionals.

I’d like to thank him for his exceptional leadership and many contributions. He will be a great advocate for The Americas sales organization in his new role.

With Jim’s move to Worldwide Operations, I’m pleased to announce Wendy Bahr as our new SVP, Americas Partner Organization.

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Technology Innovation: Disrupt—or Be Disrupted

An explosion of new technologies is creating new winners and losers in nearly every industry. You only have to look at the changing fortunes of Apple and Hewlett-Packard in the personal computer/tablet arena over the last decade to see how innovation can propel one company into superstar status, while another becomes irrelevant in the same market space.

So how can companies gain and hold an edge in technology innovation? In an engagement with a major global manufacturer, Cisco IBSG identified three key factors in the product innovation process that companies must clearly understand and be able to orchestrate:

  • Technology Strategy: Develop a technology strategy based on internal and external scans of rapidly emerging capabilities. These should include an assessment of each technology’s ability to disrupt, its stage of incubation, differentiating factors, competitive alternatives, and identification of platform choices. Developing a business and technology architecture for how the technology fits into your company’s platform portfolio is a critical step in this analysis.
  • Ecosystem Management: Arrange and manage ecosystem partners by assessing the need for technologies to perform certain functions that extend beyond your own internal capabilities, such as the ability to connect to a broader environment. You will need to understand existing and future profit pools to validate partner choices. For example, providing “smart services,” such as analytics, can extend a product’s useful life and be the source of long-term profitability, for both you and the ecosystem partners that deliver them.
  • Market Interactions: Prepare and execute detailed plans for managing market interactions, from initial introduction through full-scale market management. This includes an ongoing analysis of customer reactions, portfolio management, media communications, and potential competitors.

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Keith Goodwin Announces Retirement, Bruce Klein New Cisco WWPO Leader

Today, Keith Goodwin, SVP of Cisco’s Worldwide Partner Organization, is announcing his retirement after 13 years with Cisco and 38 years in the IT industry. Keith has been a strong leader, colleague, and friend to so many partners during his time at Cisco.

Starting on August 1, SVP Bruce Klein will become the new leader of Cisco’s Worldwide Partner Organization.

Read more details as EVP Rob Lloyd blogs about Keith’s career, Bruce’s leadership style, and our commitment to our partner-centric strategy. Read More »

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A World of Many Clouds

Imagine a world where businesses can increase efficiency, reduce costs, and securely share and store data across multiple networks, regardless of location. Until a few years ago, this concept seemed unattainable to most.

Fast-forward to 2012, and just about every company in the industry is working to make the cloud a part of its business model. Organizations are beginning to see the cloud as a long-term industry transition in the same way that client/server computing was a transition from the mainframe era.

Cloud is the next step in the evolution of the Internet. And that evolution is happening now. The cloud is fundamentally changing the way people and businesses consume services.

Early discussions have focused primarily on the different types of clouds leaving businesses wondering what option is best for them. In reality, it can take several types of clouds to solve a variety of business challenges. We’re moving to an interconnected world of many clouds – where users want to experience cloud services anywhere, anytime, on any device – and businesses want IT as a service.

Clouds offer compelling economics – reducing CapEx and OpEx, sharing of cloud assets, and dynamic, on-demand delivery of services. They enable flexible business models that allow services to be launched more rapidly, with greater efficiency and more scalability, regardless of the geography or size of business.

Curious on what “cloud formation” is right for you? Read More »

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