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Cisco Partner Summit Day 2: Disrupt or be Disrupted

April 29, 2015 - 2 Comments


Bruce Klein welcomed everyone back to Day 2, “Innovation Day”, of Partner Summit and asked Rob Lloyd to lead today’s general session. Rob Lloyd reinforced John’s message from yesterday. Things are changing and they are changing fast, and if you don’t find a way to disrupt your industry, you will be disrupted. As Cisco has said all week long, “You must Be Bold!”

Rob hosted iTalks this year as if they were a tv talk show, bringing Cisco executives up on stage as guests for quick talks about specific areas. This iTalk approach allowed each executive to give a brief description of what’s top of mind in their area, but before we get to those recaps, why not see what people at the show had to say about today:

Rob Soderbery

Rob Lloyd brought Rob Soderbery up on stage to talk about security, and he led off by asking Rob S., “Is Cisco really ‘in it to win it’ in Security? Some people don’t necessarily think so.”  Rob Soderbery went on to explain that Cisco is definitely all in on security and we are in fact refreshing the entire product line at the moment.

Rob S also said we have been developing our security response along the attack continuum. We harden the network to prevent attacks before they happen, but we also work across what happens during and attach and then we really focus on what happens after the attack. Cisco is different because you can see the threat as it progresses in real time through our security architecture.

Our secret weapon is the network. The network can act as a sensor, because it can see all the traffic in real time. The network is also an enforcer, because as it monitors that data, it can make decisions and then act based on the data it’s seeing pass through.

Soni Jiandani

Soni then joined Rob Lloyd on stage to discuss application centric infrastructure (ACI). Rob wanted to cut right to the chase, because he said there is a lot of confusion around ACI and he wants to bust some of those myths. He started by asking Soni if Cisco’s ACI strategy was truly open, and she assured him that indeed it is. In fact, she mentioned this was one of her favorite myths to bust since ACI was designed to be completely open, giving customers a choice, while still protecting the investments they’ve already made.

Soni’s talk was all about busting other myths that surround ACI. Is it not really a Software Defined Network SDN? Busted. Can I just have a software only SDN? Busted. If fact, she pointed out on that no company, not even a software-only network company, can build a network with no infrastructure. She likened it to building a house. “You have to accept the fact that you cannot put a frame up (software) without laying the foundation (the network) to build it on,” she said.

Soni wrapped up by pointing out our strategy of giving customers one portfolio, and protecting their investments with our policy driven approach. She also encouraged everyone to follow her on twitter at @sonijiandani where she posted a selfie with Rob she took while on stage.

Nick Earle

Nick Earle was next on the stage to discuss Intercloud with Rob. Cisco launched Intercloud at last year’s Partner Summit and Rob asked Nick to provide an update on what’s been accomplished in one year, and where we are headed now.

Nick assured Rob that Intercloud has made huge strides. As Rob mentioned earlier in the day, 60 Intercloud partners have joined with Cisco to bring Intercloud to life. Nick also added that Intercloud does more than just enable the lower cost hybrid cloud that our competitors claim as well. Intercloud actually goes beyond hybrid cloud, which includes data centers and clouds. It actually builds out the edge, where 300,000 things are being added to the Internet every hour. “With mobile devices stretching the edge more and more, that’s no longer just hybrid clouds,” Nick said, “That’s hybrid IT, and that’s exactly what Intercloud was designed to do.”

Nick wrapped up by talking about what partners can actually sell in Intercloud right now:

  • Cisco Cloud Consumption as a Service
  • Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite
  • Intercloud Marketplace
  • Cisco OpenStack Private Cloud Bundle

Nick told Rob that each of those items are available now or will be this summer.

Edzard Overbeek

Edzard pointed out that we started this journey with Cisco partners three decades ago and so far we’ve only connected 1 percent of the things that can be connected. There will be approximately 50 billion devices connected by 2020. Where do they connect? They connect to Cisco and its partners. Those devices will create an incredible amount of data, which affords Cisco a unique play in the area of data and analytics.

A new approach is needed to reach and analyze the data on the network since so much of the data needs to be analyzed at the edge of the network. That multitude of devices on the edge of the networks have an IP address and they are generating data, but moving all that information back to a data center for analysis is too cumbersome and too expensive. Instead, we need to be able to analyze that data right on the edge and make a decision. We need to be able to realize business outcomes right on the edge.

Edzard assured Rob that analytics are core moving forward and that Cisco’s ability to stream analytics at the edge of the network means Cisco will continually be able to develop new applications that allow Cisco to disrupt, rather than be disrupted.

Rowan Trollope

Collaboration actually saw double digit growth in Q2 of this year and Rowan is sure that digital disruption is driving a lot of that change. He pointed out that as the workforce evolves; you need a highly efficient team less and less, while you need a highly agile team more and more.

Rowan used the example of being on a pit crew in a motorcycle race. An efficient team can refuel and change the tires on a bike faster than an agile team during a race, but an agile team will be much more able to deal with different scenarios, such as a different bike coming in with tires that require a different tool to change.

Cisco’s Collaboration team builds tools for agile teams, and one of the most recent is Cisco Spark. Spark was launched a few months ago and it is powered by Cisco ACI and Intercloud. In addition, it is delivered as a service to our partners. Spark is not just a tool that adds onto all the other tools you have to check every day, such as your email. Instead, it’s a more agile way to collaborate. In fact, Rowan did a quick demo on stage where he showed how easy it was to interact with your team using Spark to handle a crisis situation during a customer security breach.

Rowan closed by announcing an offer for partners. Cisco is offering free Cisco Spark for up to 250 users in our partner companies. There’s more too. We want customers to go sign up new customers as well, so, for the next quarter, Cisco is offering $1 million in incentives for partners that move first to add new customers.

Closing of General Session
Bruce came back to the stage with Rob to close out today’s general session. Bruce asked Rob for his key takeaways from general session and Rob said:

  • Together when we innovate, we create new markets – I think we are going to do that again with some of the things we saw today
  • Two, I don’t think we can ignore the impact of architectures. It’s the building block of Fast IT
  • Third, there are new categories out there where our customers are looking to us to help deploy.

Only Cisco has the foundational architectures and can create new categories of fast IT that will allow customers to capitalize. Bruce expects Cisco and its partners to go change the world after we leave this session today!

Marketing Velocity Session

Since Marketing Velocity is in conjunction with Partner Summit this year, there was actually a Velocity breakout session today with Seth Godin. Have we branded ourselves to death? That is the case according to Seth. Also, he is seeing more people become weird, and that’s great. There are less and less “normal” people and businesses are built by the weird for the weird. Want to learn more from Seth? Stay tuned to the Cisco Partner Blog and I’ll let you know when his replay is available from Cisco Marketing Velocity.

Follow Our Marketing Velocity and Partner Summit Social Ambassadors         

Our 2015 Cisco Partner Ambassadors are sharing their impressions throughout Cisco Marketing Velocity and Partner Summit this year. Be sure to check out our full recap of Marketing Velocity and our recap of day one of Partner Summit.

Social Conversations

Here’s a look at some of what’s buzzing on Twitter today. Remember to tag everything #ciscops15 so we can find you!

  • @RJHollander – #CiscoPS15 Great vision flowing at PS15! Awesome new connections everyday
  • @EddiesTPWorld – Thanks for reinforcing the power of @CiscoSpark @RobLloydCisco – we agree it is a powerful tool!  #CiscoPS15 @VijuGroup
  • @DAMIANSAURA – Intercloud according @Cisco Is quite fantastic #CiscoPS15 @MTI_France

For a full look at the social conversation at Cisco Partner Summit 2015, check out the Social Media Dashboard!

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  1. You're welcome Sydney. If you feel like my recaps of these events need something more (or less) please let me know!

  2. Thanks for sharing David