In my January blog, I introduced how Cisco helps our Strategic Partners “innovate, differentiate and grow.” I also promised to bring this to life with real world examples. Due to the rapid changes in business models as customers accelerate their digitization strategy, we’re focusing on innovation for this chapter.
If history has taught us anything, it’s that when world events disrupt our lives, great companies proactively seize these transitions to drive innovation. And we are doing just that with our Strategic Partners. Innovation with these partners means aligning our technology, architectures, and R&D engineering with them to create unique solutions that provide customers with real business outcomes. Here are just a few examples of co-innovation:
In early 2020, Cisco and Pure Storage announced a more deeply integrated solution with Pure Storage Cisco Intersight FlashArray Connector (which now includes Pure’s FlashArray storage and virtualization automation for Cisco Intersight). Cisco Intersight, a first of its kind cloud-based infrastructure management platform-as-a-service, was designed to meet customers’ needs for an offering delivered as-a-service with embedded analytics for Cisco and 3rd party IT infrastructure. The goal of the combined solution is to reduce the complexity and manual effort required for customers to deploy, upgrade, and maintain complex infrastructure, as well as simplify their IT operations while optimizing our channel’s margin opportunities.
For customers looking to move workloads and applications to Azure, a cloud-ready infrastructure is imperative. Cisco’s commitment to deliver natively integrated solutions with Microsoft is over a decade old. This year we delivered ACI native integration with Azure and we’ve made additional partnership announcements with Microsoft including:
- Extending Cisco SD-WAN to Microsoft Azure Virtual WAN to help customers improve connectivity from branch offices to O365 and Azure
- AppDynamics support for .NET Core 3.0 with enhanced support for App Service Web Apps, WebJobs, and Azure Functions
- Cisco Edge Intelligence out-of-box integration with Azure IoT Hub enabling seamless movement of data from the IoT edge
These seamless integrations enable partners to help customers de-risk decision-making and accelerate their business transformation, while achieving their co-sell, consumption targets and margin goals.
IT-OT convergence is real and it’s happening now as Cisco works with Johnson Controls (JCI) to create an IP-enabled Building Automation System enhanced with a next-gen architecture. With JCI’s expertise in smart buildings and Cisco’s expertise in networking, we’re bringing OT and IT together in a next-gen converged infrastructure so customers can have a seamless intelligent building experience. JCI’s Metasys 10.0 is an industry-leading smart building solution that uses Cisco’s IE 2000 switches to help the network yield faster responses to critical alarms and enable integrations with fire detection, security and lighting systems. Now building operators and managers can achieve key business outcomes quicker and more cost-effectively. And building owners can ensure their investments are ready to support future technologies.
Besides being one of five Cisco Global Gold Partners and having significant expertise in all Cisco architectures, Logicalis is also investing heavily in its innovation capabilities. The company recently announced an internal “Global Innovation Challenge” which incentivizes its employees to develop new solutions that address social or environmental issues with Cisco. Each developed solution must include Cisco APIs that can be published on the Cisco DevNet marketplace and they must be geared to solve a customer business problem. The winners will not only take their new solutions to market, but they’ll also be reinforcing Cisco’s and Logicalis’s joint differentiators and business relevance in a global context.
Next time, I’ll share more examples of how we’re collaborating with our Strategic Partners to help them differentiate their value for customers. Learn more about these and other Cisco global strategic partners.