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Three takeaways from Cisco Partner Summit 2017

Cisco Partner Summit 2017 covered a lot of ground before wrapping up last week in Dallas. Here are three takeaways from TechTarget.

Posted by TechTarget on November 8, 2017:

Cisco Partner Summit 2017 covered a lot of ground before wrapping up last week in Dallas. Here are three takeaways from the channel event:

Partners like a consistent strategy

Cisco’s focus on software and subscription-based offerings remained in force at the partner summit and the company also continued to emphasize its cybersecurity focus. Cisco, naturally, has new things to add to the mix such as intent-based networking, but the company’s overarching message to partners has been mostly consistent.

“The strategy has not changed,” said Jason Parry, vice president of client solutions at Force 3, a network security and IT solutions provider based in Crofton, Md. “From a partner perspective, that is a good thing. We don’t want to see a reset every partner summit.”

Cisco partners need a software strategy

At Cisco Partner Summit 2017, company officials frequently cited the programmability of its technology, the opportunity to leverage open APIs and the ability of channel partners to build their own intellectual property on top of the Cisco platform. As more Cisco networking functions move to software, the onus is on Cisco partners to cultivate software skills. World Wide Technology (WWT), a technology integrator based in St. Louis, for example, acquired a software development group, Asynchrony Inc., in 2015. Renamed Asynchrony Labs, the group has been working on various Cisco-related projects. Dean Romero, national practice director of software and lifecycle services at WWT, said the software development group creates new applications, streamlines existing apps, and also takes advantage of the open APIs that sit on Cisco’s Meraki platform and other offerings.

Even partners lacking an in-house development unit need a software approach when working with Cisco. As the vendor continues to promote software suites such as Cisco One, channel companies have an initial sales opportunity and an ongoing opportunity to make sure clients unlock the software’s potential over time. Cisco refers to this ongoing partner-client relationship as “land, adopt, expand and renew.”

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