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Play Big: XChange Solution Provider 2015

This week I had the privilege of joining my Cisco colleagues and more than 225 partners at the XChange Solution Provider event hosted by the Channel Company in Dallas, Texas.  I arrived on Sunday to colder weather (and snow!) than I would have liked coming from Portland, Oregon, but I soon forgot all about that once in the comfort and setting of the Gaylord Texan resort.

I was joined by my Cisco colleagues Raja Sundaram (@rajasundaram), Steve Benvenuto (@yobenvo), Bridget Bisnette (@bbisnette), Robb Berger, and Ashley McCann (@ashleymccann). Key themes for the two and a half day conference included convergence, cloud, security, and partner marketing.

Opening_Ceremony_XChangeThe general session  kicked off with a lot of energy and momentum thanks to Steve McClatchy, best-selling author and consultant.  From a family of 12 kids (he was #11), Steve used personal anecdotes to make us laugh and encouraged us all to go after our dreams and goals. His motto is “make gain, not pain.”  In other words, make time for things that add to your life (gain) instead of spending all your energy on the “have to” lists (pain). So if you want to build that custom speedboat, as Cisco partner Kyle Vinar of Verus Corporation told me was his dream, then do it! His advice in a nutshell: schedule it, defend it, and play catch up with the maintenance of life. Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – February 27, 2015

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Each 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

CRN announced their annual Channel Chiefs awards this week. Cisco was honored with six executives being named to this year’s list.

Bruce Klein kicked things off this week by congratulating the recipients. I followed up with short features on each of the named Channel Chiefs from Cisco. In case you missed it, there are short features this week on:

Join me in congratulating this year’s Channel Chiefs from Cisco!

Jimmy Kimmel debuts Wall of America

In case you missed Jimmy Kimmel’s show after the Oscars last Sunday, he introduced the “Wall of America.” Built by Cisco, the Wall of America is a giant video collaboration board he used to speak directly with people across America who watched the Academy Awards. For a more in-depth look at the Wall of America, check out Rowan Trollope’s blog Jimmy Kimmel Live Reimagines the Fane Experience with Cisco.

Check out the video and you can learn how to sign up to be on Jimmy’s show via Cisco’s Wall of America! Read More »

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CRN Announces 2015 Channel Chiefs

If you remember my blog from about this time last year, CRN announces its list of Channel Chiefs, and it’s quite an honor to be named to the list. According to CRN, the people named to their Channel Chiefs’ list head up the partner programs that we all depend on, and they do it with professionalism year in and year out.

I am again extremely honored to be one of the named Channel Chiefs this year. As always though, I really wanted to post today in order to make sure you were all aware of my five colleagues who were named this year. I can’t tell you how excited we are at Cisco to have six of our executives recognized by CRN, two years in a row.

I also wanted our partners to know that our executives don’t get recognized in this way without you. We have only put ourselves into a position where our executives win recognition because of the countless hours of work you have put in, and the incredible feedback you have provided us. Hearing from you about how Cisco is doing is the lifeblood that keeps our partner programs fresh and effective, so keep it coming.

Oh and one last thing, CRN also recognized us as one of the top 100 coolest cloud vendors and included us on the CRN Data Center 100 list for 2015 in the Infrastructure Providers Category. Pretty great news in a space where many people said we were out of our depth!

Now without further fanfare, please join me in congratulating the CRN Channel Chiefs at Cisco this year: Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – February 20, 2015

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Each 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

It was quite a busy week on the Partner Blog. Hopefully you had a chance to read Sherri Liebo’s blog on how digital marketing has transformed the traditional marketing landscape. If not, be sure to check it out and take a look back at her super heroes posts from 2014 and how those particular marketing team members can lead the way as digital marketing continues to shift how we all work.

As we are getting ever closer to this year’s Marketing Velocity event, this blog is a nice look at how all our marketing efforts tie together and what “digital” is doing to all of us.

Intelligent Cybersecurity

Raja Sundaram had some insight into cybersecurity and how it affects your customers. He looked at changing business models, dynamic threats, and complexity and fragmentation. Branching out from there he pointed out how Cisco is offering up the products you need for your customers to tackle these tough security situations. It’s a great overview on security. Read More »

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Intelligent Cybersecurity

I recently received notice from my bank that they were changing my bank card number — again — due to suspicious activity on my account. This is the third such notification received in the past twelve months! Although it is an annoyance and a bit inconvenient, I do appreciate the bank’s attempt to protect my financial data. Moreover, it represents a much larger problem than mine but a major concern for businesses the world over. It is just one example of the pervasive issue of data security and attests to the sad fact that we are living in a time with a very dynamic threat landscape.

It is estimated that the annual cost of cyber-crime to the global economy ranges from $375 billion to as much as $575 billion, according to a 2014 study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. In addition, the study reports that as many as 350,000 jobs in the US and EMEAR are lost because of malicious online activity.

In PricewaterhouseCooper’s 17th Annual Global CEO Survey, half the top execs surveyed expressed concern about cyber threats to their organization. Their concern is certainly warranted, as Cisco’s 2014 Mid-Year Security Report disclosed that 100 percent of networks analyzed showed traffic going to sites hosting malware. This is a very expensive problem. According to the Ponemon Institute, the cost of an organizational data breach in the U.S. averages $5.85 million (up from $5.4 million in 2013). It not only affects a business financially but corrodes consumer confidence as well. Read More »

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