Between several major acquisitions and product launches, 2017 was an exciting year for Comstor, Cisco, and the VAR community. The editorial team at EDGE360 recently sat down with Reid Scrimgeour, Comstor Product Manager, Enterprise Networking and Mobility, to gain additional insight into some of the biggest trends of the year. Reid also shared his thoughts on what to lookout for as we head into 2018.
EDGE 360 Editors: Tell us what have been the biggest milestones, innovations, or news headlines that have impacted your business in 2017.
Reid Scrimgeour (RS): There were several product launches and acquisitions that made headlines this year. The SYNNEX acquisition of Comstor was the largest acquisition in our company’s history, as it has expanded SYNNEX’s global footprint while adding Cisco products to the portfolio. In August, Cisco purchased Viptela, a privately held software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) company based in San Jose. It’s been great for our business as we’re currently the only distributor allowed to sell the Viptela brand. On the product side, we unveiled Catalyst 9000, which was one of the largest Cisco product launches in the last 20 years.
EDGE360: What lessons have been learned for the VAR community based on what you’ve mentioned above?
(RS): We can anticipate that the industry will be moving closer to intent-based networking solutions that offer a software-centric, subscription-based networking model. Intent-driven networking uses machine learning to automatically enforce security policies and maintain the state of the network. The acquisitions I mentioned play nicely into this, especially with the purchase of Viptela, which specializes in software-defined routers. I think in the future we’ll see more customers moving to SDN as they continue the journey towards digital transformation and automated networks.
EDGE360: What challenges remain that need to be addressed today and in the near future?
(RS): It’s been a challenge not having all Cisco partners able to sell Viptela right now, but that should change next year when it ends up on Cisco’s Global Price List. There have been some lead-time issues with a couple of Meraki components, due to their clock issues, and them needing to recover on a manufacturing basis. I believe this issue will clear up in the next couple of months.
EDGE360: What advice or best practices would you give to the VAR community to stay on top of the developments of this past year?
(RS): Comstor’s Surge program will be key for VARs to help stay ahead and be in the know with new products, best practices, and taking advantage of promotions, certifications, and educational materials.
The purpose of the program is to help future VARs to select Cisco as a partner. We’ll be offering training certification, giving the ability to obtain VIP rebates, and to help implement partners and demos to help make them more successful.
EDGE360: If you could sum up the year in one sentence – what would it be?
(RS): For me, 2017 was the year of being “on the clock.” Every vendor is now focused on the annuities business, as is Cisco and our other partners. The new focus is on run rate, and to make sure that their business is up and running at all times. With that, the end-user needs to be practical and have the ability to turn options on and off. We are all adapting to the style of monthly, quarterly, and annual recurring business and I don’t see that changing for the foreseeable future.
Reid Scrimgeour is a Product Manager for Enterprise Networking, Mobility, Meraki, and Viptela
with Comstor. He can be reached at 303-222-4778 or firstname.lastname@example.org.