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Things I’ve Learned About Women At Work (Inspired by Phil Dunphy)

Do you watch Modern Family?  I love that show and it just keeps getting better. The episode where parents Phil and Claire moved daughter Hailey into her college dorm was particularily hilarious and I’m still laughing over the “Phil’s-Osophy” book he created for Hailey on “things I’ve learned”  — hence, my strange title.

When Cisco asked me to participate on the Channels blog, I decided to risk the obvious and write about soft skills because it’s my observation they’re not widely appreciated – especially by women. What I mean by soft skills is personal brand: the image you portray and how others percieve you.  It’s the very foundation on which your career is built.  The timing couldn’t be better: we are in the throes of launching a very exciting project here at Westcon Group (more on that later) and today — you may note — is International Women’s Day.

Women want to develop professional and business skills, but often overlook what I call their soft skills foundation. For starters, there’s that nagging perception of the glass ceiling. Well, let’s ask this question: is it a glass ceiling that’s holding women back or is it something else?  You might consider the following when evaluating your own soft skills foundation.  Read More »

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Partner Update: Fresh Batch of Cisco News in Less than Five Minutes

October 17, 2011 at 7:16 pm PST

As Andrew learned the hard way, doing your research before you make an investment pays off, whether you’re buying a car or equipment for your network.

In this episode of Partner Update, we explore total cost of ownership and why it’s the only true way to measure network costs. We also cover storytelling tips and methods learned from esteemed author and presentation expert Nancy Duarte (she created the presentation you see in Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth), our October 18 TweetChat with Nancy, our October 20 broadcast covering LinkedIn for B2B, virtualization technology news, Cisco’s own Edison Peres’ travels to speak with partners in South America, LEAP centers to help partners test out data centers, tips for solution providers, and much more. Whew!

Tune in for the latest partner news:

Keep reading for a text summary and list of links mentioned during Partner Update. Read More »

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Cisco Partner Westcon Group’s LEAP Centers Focus on Technology’s Business Value

Sometimes it helps to see real-world routing and switching technology, data center security, and virtualized Unified Communications in action. Did you know that there’s a place you can do just that—either in person, or virtually?

It’s been just about a year since Cisco distributor partner the Westcon Group unveiled its LEAP Centers (LEAP stands for Learn, Experience, Architect and Plan). LEAP Centers provide partners with hands-on training  in a lab environment, where a reseller and end-user can come together for hands-on demonstrations.

Cisco partners can take advantage of training to evaluate core switching and routing processes, application delivery, data center security, virtualized Unified Communications and other data-centric and Cisco UCS solutions. Westcon has two LEAP Centers, one in Denver, Colorado, and the other in Brussels, Belgium. If you can’t visit in person, Westcon enables users to access LEAP Center resources virtually, as well.

I got the chance to chat with Bill Hurley, CTO of the Westcon Group, and he filled me in on what’s been going on over the past year, why Cisco partners should take advantage of what the LEAP centers have to offer, and how the LEAP centers have exceeded Westcon’s expectations.

It’s been almost a year since you launched the LEAP centers: What’s been going on with them during that time frame?

Bill Hurley: We have been phenomenally successful in raising awareness about the impact and benefits of virtualization and data center consolidation—those have been our two biggest areas of inquiry and activity. We’ve focused on showing how UCS helps enable business benefits. And we’ve also run specific programs around a service-oriented architecture (SOA)-enabled data center, as well as a UCS bootcamp.

LEAP centers have appealed to both partners and end-users: They’re not just about speeds and feeds, but instead help in putting all the technology in a business context. There’s a real benefit for partners in physically being at a LEAP center—it helps them understand how the technologies really work together. Read More »

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Go Global with GPN and the TelePresence Distributor-as-Agent Initiative

The saying goes that you should think globally, but act locally. Well guess what—now you can, thanks to Cisco partner Westcon Group.

Comstor, the distributor business unit of Westcon Group, now offers support for the Global Partner Network for the Cisco TelePresence Distributor-as-Agent track. Cisco’s  Global Partner Network (GPN) enables customers with global requirements to better utilize resources of Cisco partners. And now, you can efficiently conduct project management, delivery and logistics globally for your customers’ TelePresence requirements.

Here’s how it works: The program can allow you to act as host in your customer’s headquarters to deliver a globally coordinated solution. According to Bill Hurley, CTO of the Westcon Group, this can help you not only think, act, and grow your business from a global perspective, but also do a single local transaction with local support.

“TelePresence is a global technology—it’s not about just putting it in a local campus. Most companies look to it for global communications, and this program enables our partners to be confident that they can speak with their end-users intelligently and confidently about TelePresence,” he said.

Read More »

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