Today, Cisco and IBM announced that we’re joining forces to deliver a new integrated infrastructure solution targeting big data, cloud and mobility deployments.  The VersaStack Solution by Cisco and IBM will combine Cisco’s UCS Integrated Infrastructure—comprised of the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), ACI-Ready Cisco 9000 Nexus switches, Cisco MDS switches, and Cisco UCS Director—with IBM Storwize storage systems.  Sound interesting? Here are the top five things Cisco partners need to know about VersaStack:

  • Data Center Evolution: Cloud.  Big data.  Mobility.  The Internet of Everything.  All of these macro-trends are fundamentally challenging the current IT model. Today, operations—including people, management, software, and facilities—are responsible for the greatest costs in the data center. Nearly three out of four CIOs say that it’s difficult to stay on budget and on-time due to the complexity of deploying traditional IT infrastructure.  As a result, CIOs are looking to modernize their data centers to keep pace with dynamic business priorities.  VersaStack was designed to respond to these needs.
  • Red Hot Market:  CIOs are rapidly shifting away from traditional silos towards integrated infrastructure—in which the full stack of data center technologies is combined into pre-engineered, tested, and supported system designed to operate as a whole.  IDC forecasts[1] that the integrated systems market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 33 percent over the next five years, reaching US$14 billion by 2017.

  • Channel Centric:  VersaStack is a reference architecture, meet-in-the-channel model.  The channel will be the primary route to market and (even better news) there’s already significant overlap between the IBM and Cisco channel communities. Leveraging Cisco Validated Designs, qualified Cisco and IBM partners will construct VersaStack solutions for customers, wrapping their own professional services around the technology. Over the next few months we’ll be working hard to educate and enable our partners.  Keep your eyes peeled for training in your region.
  • Accelerate deals with Financing: We all know that financing can help you accelerate the sales process.  But it can also help you address your customer’s budgetary requirements and position future lifecycle management opportunities. With that in mind, Cisco Capital is delivering an all-in-one financial offering —providing one source of financing for the total VersaStack solution, including Cisco, IBM, and complementary third-party technology and services.  Make sure you keep financing in mind when selling VersaStack.
  • Revenue and Profits: Every year we conduct a thorough “health check” on the Cisco channel community. Our most recent study unearthed that the data center is the fastest growing AND most profitable practice for Cisco channel partners. Top partners also tell us that one of their secrets to success is elevating their game to selling solutions, such as integrated infrastructure.  Time and again, we’ve seen that selling integrated infrastructure grows the average size of deals and boosts the professional services opportunity.  Another added bonus with VersaStack: partners can also sell maintenance services contracts, providing level one support that is backed up by Cisco and IBM for level two support and beyond.

If you want to learn more about the VersaStack Solutions by Cisco and IBM, please visit our website or call your partner account manager.

[1] IDC, Worldwide Integrated Systems 2014-2017 Forecast, March, 2014


John Growdon

Sr. Director – Unified Data Center Sales

Worldwide Channels