The Cisco Partner Summit #CiscoPS16 in San Diego is off to a strong start with great strategic vision that will benefit Comstor and our partners. In my pre-Summit post, I predicted that security and the hyper-converged data center would be hot topics this week. I am right on target so far!
As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to expand, security becomes even more important. Everything is connected, so everything needs to be secured. As we heard from Cisco, they plan to “triple down” on security. They told partners, “If you do one new thing, make that security.” I encourage partners to take their advice.
In addition to yesterday’s announcement of a new suite of digital marketing services designed to help partners engage their customers and drive revenue, there were several others announcements worth noting:
- Cisco will acquire CliQr Technologies Inc. to provide customers with comprehensive, simplified application-centric orchestration for private, hybrid and public clouds. This will enable customers to achieve highly secure, scalable and cost-effective data centers that can keep pace with the speed of business and can accelerate the adoption of hybrid cloud environments.
- Next-generation Nexus Switches and Software will offer speed and telemetry capable of allowing customers to transition to 25/50/100Gbps at the cost and density of today’s 10/40Gbps networks, with an increase of up to 10 times the bandwidth. This is a first for the industry and a great offering.
- The new Cisco HyperFlex™ Systems will simplify policy-based automation across network, computation and storage for the widest set of enterprise applications. It will also surpass first-generation hyperconverged solutions, which were severely limited in terms of the performance, flexibility, and operational simplicity required by today’s IT environment of microservices, containers, new applications and clouds. (In my last post, I said my “spidey senses” were telling me Cisco would jump into the hyper-converged data center I am 2-2 with predictions!)
In between presentations, I am meeting with leaders and principals of Cisco partners. From a high level, our discussions are around the fact that margins for “blinky boxes” continue to decline, so partners are looking at future adjustments to their portfolios. They want to grow their profits and margins by looking to security, professional services and other higher margin solutions that complement their Cisco foundation. These discussions around Managed Services (MS) have perked up dramatically since last year’s partner summit, and I have heard from many partners who have tried to cobble together some type of MS offering or figure out some kind of reseller agreement with various MS providers. All have failed, except the very large partners that have been building and refining their managed services offerings for three or more years.
I will be meeting with more partners today and tomorrow, and will provide you with updates from those conversations next week. In the meantime, I will keep my ears and eyes open for additional announcements of interest to Cisco partners and end customers.