EDGE Conference 2021: Enabling Partners to Transform and Perform Previous item Applying Past Lessons... Next item Three Things to Consider...

The SYNNEX Comstor EDGE Conference 2021 has come to an end, but not before achieving its purpose of bringing together partners to share their expertise on how to grow and develop a profitable Cisco business. It goes without saying that this last year has been challenging, but the adaptation that the entire IT Channel has undergone created significant opportunities for Cisco partners and VARs to “transform and perform.”

This year’s conference began with a discussion featuring Jay Denton, Senior Vice President and General Manager of SYNNEX Comstor North America, John Brookbank, Vice President, Cisco Americas Distribution, and John Moses, Vice President, Cisco Americas Partner Organization. Under Denton’s leadership, SYNNEX Comstor has developed the EDGE partner program, which is the “preeminent” enablement program in the IT channel. One of the key factors of the program is the SYNNEX Comstor commitment to build and grow together while guiding partners on the Cisco journey. “Partners in the EDGE program has been proven to grow one and a half times faster than partners not in the program,” Denton noted.

Denton was also joined by Michael Urban, President of Worldwide Technology Solution Distribution at SYNNEX Comstor. Urban started the conference off by recognizing how quickly and efficiently EDGE partners have adapted to the new normal. “By offering prospective, practice building, and profit-enhancing consulting and programs, we believe we have a near-perfect fit with the Cisco message to perform and transform.”

That ‘near-perfect fit’ was further exemplified by Brookbank who spoke about the ongoing transformation of Cisco, and its partners, to meet the needs of the modern IT channel. “We know that Cisco partners are shifting to higher service offerings,” Brookbank began. “We know that is where there is a higher margin for you all.” Cisco is committed to providing the resources that partners need to take advantage of the ongoing digital transformation.

“It is clear that 75 percent of the customers and companies we’ve talked to are accelerating their transformation plans because of the pandemic.” According to Gartner upwards of 88 percent of global enterprises will follow suit,  and Brookbank iterated that Cisco is ready to help partners transform their offerings to perform exceptionally going forward.

“Perform and Transform” was the main message throughout the EDGE Conference sessions, and it reflected the ongoing change that Cisco is undertaking. While there will always be a place for more traditional Cisco partnership models, the overarching shift toward Software-as-a-Service is a cornerstone of the modern IT Channel.

“We are nearing the end of the pandemic that facilitated changes in the way we conduct business,” Urban continued. “But it will still take a while. We’ll learn from the experience and will retain some of those changes moving forward.” These changes are all a part of the ongoing IT Digital Transformation, an oft-talked-about concept that is changing the nature of the IT channel.

The EDGE Conference presented numerous opportunities for VARs and Cisco Partners to engage with subject matter experts related to several hot topics – from the latest Cisco solutions empowering the return to the office to the next iteration of customer experience.

What the future may hold for the IT channel is never crystal clear, especially in today’s post-pandemic environment. If there was ever a time or a place, however, to get a sneak peek of how to prepare for challenges and opportunities ahead, it was at the 2021 EDGE Conference.