Our partners drive and influence so many aspects of our business at Cisco – programs, tools and growth to name a few, and the importance of our Partners’ feedback cannot be emphasized enough.

One of the best ways for us to get input is from events where we can personally interact with multiple partners. Recently at Cisco Live US in San Diego we held a Partner Xperience track for the numerous partners in attendance. This allowed us the opportunity to hear from those partners on hand and get their feedback on, not only the event, but the direction that Cisco is headed overall.

To that end, I’d like to share some of the perspectives we received. First, John Hanahan, Senior Director of Interconnection Product Management at Equinix had this to say about the opportunity to interact with other partners and Cisco executives:

Cisco Live has always been one of the flagship events in this industry. We see this as a perfect opportunity to help reach our joint customers, not only for sharing information with our customers and prospects, but also engagement between the various levels of Cisco executive staff and product teams, as well as other partners we would like to engage and work with.”

I love that take. And John, it’s not just a one-way street on the engagement with executives.  Again – our leadership teams recognize the time and effort partners take to participate in these events and are genuinely grateful for the opportunity to interact with partners like Equinix and stay grounded in those partner needs.

Kevin Steeprow, Vice President, Design Engineering at Red River

Out of Partner Xperience, we’ll work with our leadership team to share, “This is what we heard from Cisco, this is where they’re going, this is where our vision for evolution is, how do we perform and transform together?” So we can bubble that all the way up to leadership, and we use that to help build our business plans. In particular, I’m going to use it extensively to build my business plan on how I go forward with Cisco, their portfolio, the DevNet experiences, the evolution in DNA Center, and all those types of things. So we’re going to take all that back and use that to build our go-forward plan.”

Amy Smith, VP of Alliances Dimension Data Americas

“We use the information we get from Partner Xperience in planning for the rest of the year. Not only is it valuable from the engineering side, in getting technical information, training and labs, but it’s also valuable from an executive side, when we have our executive one-on-ones.”

The dissemination of information is a key component of any successful operation.  Obviously, it is Cisco’s responsibility to communicate our vision to partners in a timely fashion, but it is then up to each partner to put that information to work.

We’re thrilled to hear how partners like Kevin and Amy are taking the “Perform and Transform” messaging to heart and sharing it with their teams to help their businesses succeed. Again, interaction is a two-way street, and the feedback we receive after sharing information with partners is vital.

We know everybody’s time is valuable, and the fact that there are so many positive responses about the usefulness of events like Partner Xperience motivates us to continue offering beneficial live opportunities like that to our partners:

Hope McIntosh, VP of Sales ANM

I find the partner experience is not just the sessions that you provide for us but really down to the detail of every single Cisco employee here understands what it means to be a partner and really can talk that partner language to help us deliver those solutions to customers.”


It is a testament to the professionalism of individual team members at Cisco that make that type of an impression on partners like Hope at these in person events.

Speaking of live events, Partner Summit 2019 is only a few months away. Our team is eager to share the next round of important announcements with our partner community.

The best way for us to continue offering meaningful partner experiences is to hear how these events are received by our partners. We want you to know that we take your feedback to heart when shaping our partner programs and tools.

Please share any thoughts and comments you have in the comment section provided here, and we hope to see you in Las Vegas at Partner Summit 2019!


Michael Hopfinger

Director of Marketing

Architecture and Partner Marketing - Americas