On November 1, Cisco’s Partner Summit 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada, kicked off, ending the 1,092 streak of days since Cisco partners were last able to gather in person with Cisco leadership to discuss strategies and learn about new products and solutions. More and more conferences and summits are returning to in-person, and there is a palpable excitement to being back together that wasn’t missing from the inaugural keynote of this year’s partner summit. Cisco’s key leaders, like Chuck Robbins, Oliver Tuszik, Liz Centoni, and Jonathan Davidson, discussed challenges from the past three years and the successes that have resulted, with each presenter placing special emphasis on the need to work together as we enter the Age of the Partner.
Challenging Years for Partners and Customers
The past three years have not been without challenges for both customers and vendors. Customers have had to transform the way their organizations operate, whether temporarily or permanently, adopting new products and services at a blistering rate. For partners looking to meet the needs of customers, supply chain issues have been a massive pain point. Despite these ongoing challenges, the future looks bright. In the Age of the Partner, partners and customers can benefit from a multitude of solutions currently available or on the horizon. “Our customers are going to power through, and they need you to help them,” Chuck Robbins, Chair and CEO of Cisco, declared during his speech.
Overcoming challenges for Cisco and its partners involves focusing on simplicity. While technology becomes more advanced and complex, the goal is to make it accessible and simple for everyday use. This includes simplifying and offering choices to customers as well as focusing on ways to simplify processes for distribution partners.
Let’s Own It Together
These past three years have provided countless lessons, but the most important has been the need for partnership. The Age of the Partner is about recognizing the impact partners provide and empowering every partner to be the most successful for the customer. Regardless of the challenges, the past year has been an overall success with business up 10 percent, as well as a 48 percent increase in Meraki managed services and a 66 percent increase in cloud marketplace bookings. None of this could be possible without dedicated partners delivering valuable solutions to customers.
Oliver Tuszik, Senior Vice President, Partner Sales and General Manager, Routes to Market at Cisco, discussed in his presentation the reality that customers, the role of IT, and how customers purchase IT have all changed. Now, it’s up to us to provide a new customer experience to fit these needs.
Helping Customers Grow
Driven by the Cisco purpose – powering an inclusive future for all – Liz Centoni, EVP, Chief Strategy Officer and GM of Applications at Cisco, discussed the solutions partners are providing customers that are transforming their business. “The biggest value for the organization is changing its culture,” Centoni shared. When organizations move from a reactive to a proactive to a predictive approach, everyone wins.
Customers need full stack observability. Centoni pointed out how every single customer is using it to some degree. They are looking for ways to monitor and manage their networks with the ability to triage issues in real-time. Additionally, customers are focusing on API (Application Programming Interface) security. Gartner predicted that by this year, “API attacks will become the most frequent attack vector.” While there may still be more to overcome, Centoni emphasized the “art of the possible” and bringing customers the solutions that can change their business.
Partner Summit’s in-person energy that fuels that excitement for the future was severely missed over the past couple of years. This year’s summit was about not only getting back together but also moving forward together. A lot has changed, and a lot will continue to change, but with TD SYNNEX and Cisco, partners have the resources and support to continue to provide powerful solutions to customers. The Age of the Partner is upon us and new opportunities for success are accessible.
To watch the full keynote speech from day one and hear more thoughts from leaders, click here.