The Channel Company Presents Annual Best of Breed Event in Orlando
I’m back! Back on the Cisco Partner Blog for the first time in a few months, and back in Florida for the first time in a few years. I spent the early part of this week in Orlando at the Best of Breed event. As the weather has shifted to distinctly more “fall-like” back in North Carolina, it was nice to head south for a few days and enjoy a few last gasps of summer.
More importantly, it has been an opportunity to meet numerous influential executives from within the industry. There were many Cisco Partners here at the event and to have the opportunity to speak with them about working with Cisco is always valued. In addition, it’s always interesting to hear their takes on the speakers and information coming out of the event, as the partners are truly the guys on the front line with customers every single day.
You might have seen, from the ongoing coverage of Best of Breed, that our new CEO, Chuck Robbins, was here to deliver the keynote, which was done in an interview style with the CEO of The Channel Company.
Chuck fielded questions about the recent Dell-EMC deal, the Cisco partnership with Apple, and his basketball playing days. Be sure to check out the interview with Chuck and subsequent stories from CRN, including what he forecasts about Apple’s relationship with the channel.
I had several partners tell me this week how happy they were to see Chuck at the event and how it showed them consistent, ongoing commitment to the channel from Cisco. That is great feedback and we are indeed committed to our partners at Cisco. We do understand how important the channel is to our business.
I also spoke with executives this week that were truly inspired by the closing keynote speaker on Tuesday, Jeremy Gutsche. Jeremy is a New York Times bestselling author and innovation expert. He spoke about a proven path to unstoppable ideas and how those ideas come about from the need to solve problems. Jeremy was entertaining, humorous and educational.
We also heard from speakers from KRW International, Axispoint, Netformx, Extreme Networks, Avnet, IBM, the Orlando Magic, PING, Inc., Proxibid, Logicalis and more. All in all it was a week packed with information, and a great chance for executives to network about what’s affecting their business right now.
It wasn’t all just work of course. The benefits of events such as Best of Breed extend into the social world as well. The Channel Company is always a great host and with sponsors like Cisco, we always have a little fun at these events too. On Tuesday night we held a “Cocktails around the World” event where attendees were able to go from room to room and enjoy a little food and drink from areas such as England, Mexico and the South Pacific.
It’s important to enjoy some “down time” at events like Best of Breed and with many of the sponsored dinners and events like “Cocktails Around the World” we all have the chance to relax a little, speak with our colleagues over drinks and just catch up a bit at the end of a busy day.
All in all, this was my first Best of Breed event, but I hope it’s not the last. What a fantastic opportunity to speak with the leaders of major companies and Cisco Partners from all over the world.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments about the event. If you met me at the event, say hi in the comments below. Now it’s off to the airport and back home for me!