Cisco Partner Summit: Networks Without Borders
MegaPath is a Master Cisco Managed Services Channel Partner, and so we were invited to Cisco Partner Summit again this year. The event was in San Francisco, and gave us a chance to get together with one of our important technology partners and get their view of the networked economy. Last year, during the Executive Exchange, I had a chance to participate in a small, informal discussion with Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior. This year, I got a chance to join the Executive Exchange with SVP Keith Goodwin, who came up with the theme of the summit, which was "Write the Rules. Own the Game." Goodwin said this message spoke to the opportunity for partners to take advantage of significant market transitions. It was meant to be a bold statement, about how Cisco's partners can help their customer face transitions in business, and write new rules for success, which will allow them to own the game by competing under these new rules. The overall message that Cisco had at Partner Summit was very clear: Managed Services are going to continue to be one of the largest drivers of the networked economy, and Cisco is going to continue to focus on these market transitions by aligning their architectures around them.
Brian Billick was a surprise guest speaker at the event, and gave some very good insights into leadership that can be applied to any business situation, as well as to football. Martin De Beer told us that video was the future, and predicted that by 2013 90% of all IP traffic would be video; apparently, 60% of all traffic on Cisco's internal network is already video. It was also pointed out how the generation entering the workplace now is used to making use of real-time video communication and collaboration tools, as well as social media, and that they will expect to find these same tools in the workplace. Certainly, Quality of Service (Q0S) and MPLS are key capabilities which enable video to move across networks, and will be required to successfully scale to meet this demand.
Noted author and speaker Jason Jennings also gave a great talk, before CEO John Chambers took the stage for his closing keynote. The VAR Guy has a nice write up on his blog of the presentation, which covered what Jennings said where the 5 rules for long term business success. One thing Jennings said was that "[a company's] culture is the ultimate competitive advantage", and I found this encouraging.
Chambers was upbeat, saying that the recent challenges to our economy had provided a unique opportunity, and that Cisco's partners had done very well with the opportunity. He went on to say that by focusing on collaboration and cloud based services, we were ready to see continued business acceleration. He then gave a demonstration of the collaborative capabilities of the latest Cisco products, and showed how they allowed increased efficiencies in the workplace, while making better use of limited resources.
So, of course, Cisco continues to stress the importance of Borderless Networks. These are business platforms that allow your customers, partners and employees to connect with each other, at any time, on any device, no matter where they are located. By taking advantage of access technologies such as Broadband Connectivity, Business Ethernet, Premium T1, and Wireless Broadband, and combining them with services such as Managed Security, Hosted VOIP and Managed SSL VPNs, these networks without borders can accelerate the growth of your business, regardless of size, by allowing you to make decisions faster, respond to customer needs quicker, and increase your ability to adapt to an ever-evolving business environment.