Inside The Cisco Partner Summit 2014

The Vyopta leadership team was invited to attend Cisco’s Partner Summit in Las Vegas from March 24th to March 27th, 2014; this was my first ever to attend. As a Cisco Independent Software Vendor (ISV) who has a focus on developing SaaS video applications for businesses that leverage Cisco core technologies – Cisco Collaboration, Video, Data Center and Network, my main takeaways from the Cisco Partner Summit were around the following four areas: 1) Cisco is on track to becoming the number one IT company; 2) Cisco and partners have the opportunity to capture a large part of the Internet of Everything market (IOE) valued at $19 trillion; 3) Cisco Collaboration Technology Group (CTG) announced that customer experience is the highest priority; and 4) Cisco’s inclusion of ISVs into its ecosystem is important.

John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco Systems, Inc. (Cisco), began by talking about how Cisco is on track to becoming the number one IT company. In order to achieve this objective, he emphasized how it was important for Cisco and its partners to not become complacent with current success and business models, but to embrace change. He continued by stating that though change can make people feel uncomfortable, it is necessary. This all resonated with me because we – at Vyopta – have continually embraced change as a catalyst for pursuing new business opportunities and not as a business disruptor. Now, Cisco has proven its ability to successfully make changes at market fluctuations over the past 30 years. Going forward, both Cisco and partners must incorporate a number of critical factors to continue to be agile such as: 1) Top-down commitment; 2) Ability and organizational structure to support change; 3) Process to measure change objectives; and 4) Clear understanding of priorities.

[bctt tweet=”To be the #1 IT Company – Cisco partners can’t become complacent with current business models. Change is coming!” username=”vyopta”]

Another topic of focus was the next new opportunity for Cisco and its partners. This new opportunity is about enabling customers to leverage the next generation of IT – or IOE – to support new business models. Per Cisco’s and Bain’s calculations, the Cisco IOE opportunity is $19 trillion. The IOE is made possible by Cisco’s technology and services – including the new InterCloud, reference architectures, and application-centric infrastructure. I would say that the Cisco InterCloud offers partners – both ISV and VAR – the ability to offer more enterprise-class virtual solution options expected by customers.

One other topic of high interest to me and the Vyopta team was how video fits into Cisco’s strategy. Rowan Trollope, SVP and GM of Cisco CTG, presented and demonstrated how the customer experience is the driver for Cisco Collaboration from improving product design (browser to boardroom) for better user interactions and collaboration across enterprises to simplifying the product portfolio and solution acquisition and delivery.

Last, John Chambers and many in the Cisco leadership also highlighted the importance of channel partners leveraging both ISVs and Cisco in order to present and sell business solutions and outcomes that matter to line-of-business (LOB) executives and decision-makers. These people only want to know how you and your solution can help them achieve their business objectives and overcome their business challenges. LOB executives will be directly involved in 80% of new IT investment decisions because of radical changes in IT governance and financial management practices. I am delighted to hear that Cisco has made a major focus to facilitate creating greater relationships and efficiencies to drive go-to-market partnerships and success among Cisco, channel partners and ISVs.

Cisco continues to be committed to its partners, who are 280,000 strong globally. This number will continue to grow as Cisco welcomes ISV partners into its ecosystem. It remains to be seen how quickly Cisco, channel partners, and ISVs will come together to WIN and to ACHIEVE GREATER SUCCESS TOGETHER – which translates to more revenue and profits while delivering substantial value to customers.

Alfredo Ramirez is a seasoned entrepreneur with direct experience in building early-stage software technology companies, which is why he proudly serves Vyopta as CEO and Co-Founder. A nod to his passion for pushing the button of innovation, Alfredo previously co-founded Vitalz (a venture backed enterprise software company acquired by Oracle) and Daman Consulting. He holds a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and writes about topics such as technology, employee engagement, and innovation from the CEO perspective.