Last week at Partner Summit, Cisco hosted a total of 1,090 companies from 85 countries who collectively account for $35.7 billion in bookings for us. And one thing all these companies have in common is that they’re a Cisco Partner. At Partner Summit these Partners, who make up our ecosystem, want to hear about the innovation and Programs coming out of Cisco and how our Partner Ecosystem can take full advantage of these changes. This results in 60 Ecosystem Exchanges and more than 1,100 Executive Meetings.

Unlocking opportunities

In APJ, we hosted more than 200 attendees from 11 countries. We had a great start to Partner Summit 2017 as we kicked off with the APJ Global Service Provider Partner Executive Roundtable. Led by Chris Heckscher, Vice President, APJ Global Service Provider, and members of his leadership team. Partners engaged in an interesting dialog that revolved around the opportunity in the Service Provider segment and the ways that both Cisco and our Partners can capture and OWN this opportunity together.

Following this, we held our inaugural Digital Ecosystem Partner Connection which was focused primarily on ISVs and the value they bring to our wider partner ecosystem. Led by Jared Ramesh Danaraj, the objective of the Digital Ecosystem Partner Connection is to showcase selected APJ & Global ISVs/Solution Partners via a series of “Ted Talks” to build awareness with resellers and seed GTM connections within our channels.

Partner attendees also interacted with Cisco Solution Partners to discuss new and innovative ways of creating valuable business outcomes together. This once again showed the true value of how the Cisco Partner Ecosystem connects our customers to the world class technology innovation. With unparalleled breakthrough innovation and solutions

Partners crucial in Cisco strategy

Day Two of Partner Summit began with a keynote by Chuck Robbins, David Goeckeler and Wendy Bahr. They clearly articulated our strategy, vision and innovation, as we seek to pivot towards a multicloud world with recurring revenue and software. They also reaffirmed the role that the channel will remain ever important as Cisco is on this transitional journey.

The APJ session followed straight after and I kicked off the session with the role our partners played in FY17 that led to the fantastic results in APJ. Irving then touched on the tailwinds in APJ and the opportunity that exists for Cisco and our partners collectively, given the market dynamics of the region.

Vish Iyer, Vice President of Architectures, addressed our Partners for the first time in his new role. He touched on the constant innovation coming from Cisco and highlighted the value it brings to Partners and customers, with key case studies. I wrapped up the session with the evolving Partner Landscape and what Cisco is doing to help our Partners evolve their business models to remain competitive in an ever-changing landscape.

In between the Keynotes & Impact sessions, APJ partners participated in hundreds of 1:1 meetings – both formally and informally. This gave us the opportunity to receive feedback from our partners on what is working, what need’s further support and how together, we can be even more successful in FY18.

Innovation + the power of teams

We wrapped up the week with a keynote by Chris Dedicoat who touched on the increased pace of innovation as Cisco and our Partners collectively embrace multicloud and unlock the power of data for our joint customers. Wendy Bahr, then acknowledged the Global Award Winners before inviting Rowan Trollope on-stage.

Rowan Trollope, then touched on the ‘New Age of Intelligence’ which will allow us to change the business conversation with our customers and launched Cisco Kinetic and an intelligent addition to Cisco Spark.

Ending off the session was guest speaker Patrick Lencioni, who gave an excellent masterclass on how to master the effective behaviors of effective teams. I strongly encourage everyone to watch his keynote as it will change the way teams come together collectively for success.

When you take the key headlines from the opening and closing keynotes the underlying message is that great innovation coupled with trust and teamwork will result in success. As Cisco transitions towards software and recurring revenue, our partners are a crucial element in this transition and we this message was reaffirmed time and again at Partner Summit 17.

To end off, I would like to say that it was an amazing week.  Together with our Partners we are enabling the new era of networking and unlocking the value for our customers. Following the amazing week we had at Partner Summit 17, Cisco looks forward to owning the opportunity together with our Partners in 2017.

Just in case you missed the sessions, you can view the keynotes & impacts session content online. You can also view a great Facebook Live conversation we had with one of our partners on the Cisco Partners Facebook page!