As we prepare to ring in 2023 and toast to the many successes and new opportunities from this past year, join us in taking a look back at the best of the best from 2022—the content that had the biggest impact on our IT channel community.
2022 was a year of progress and growth. As we reconnected in person at events like Partner Summit and Cisco Live!, it was thrilling to feel a sense of normalcy once more. In addition, we saw a lot of content centering around new products and resources for partners and their customers, including the recent launch of the EDGE Focus Tool (EFT) mobile app.
EDGE360 has some exciting and refreshing plans for the year 2023, but for now, check out the five most eye-catching and poignant stories from 2022.
To kick off 2022, EDGE360 Editors spoke with Vice President of Sales at TD SYNNEX, Dan Forbes. The themes he described in 2022 remain very relevant as we prepare to enter 2023, particularly in terms of future modeling. “The past few years have given companies the opportunity to realize not only the potential of their own businesses but also the potential of their workforces,” remarked Forbes. “Now, they are strategizing on how best to utilize both of those elements to plan for what’s next in their business.”
As we continue to see future planning and other themes from this article trending into the new year, partners can take a look at the insight and advice that Forbes shared at the beginning of this year to help prepare. Also discussed by Forbes was the need to enhance customer experience, an important part of this year’s Partner Summit, as well as the shift customers are making to software.
The global market has experienced profound changes—both good and bad—over the past few years. For partners to remain successful and steadfast, it’s critical to understand what these changes are and the impact they have on businesses and customers. Jay Denton, Senior Vice President and Global Cisco Partner Executive for TD SYNNEX, and Michael Perez, Director for Operations at Cisco, got together in January to record a podcast that discussed everything from the SYNNEX and Tech Data merger to new additions to the EDGE program.
As 2022 wraps up, revisiting this podcast sheds new insight into what partners and leaders accomplished throughout the year, and what will require more attention in the coming year. During the interview, Perez shared, “The biggest opportunity we’re seeing for our Cisco partners is around hybrid work and security. I believe that will present itself across every segment from small businesses to large commercial to the public sector. And the need for our partners to respond to that demand in the coming year is going to position them for success.”
In celebration of Women’s History Month and the incredible contributions of women across the IT channel, we had the pleasure of interviewing Jen Keating, Director of Partner Sales Organization at Cisco, for this feature. Keating’s incredible career brought her to Cisco at an interesting time: March 2020. While dealing with the challenges of a worldwide pandemic, she learned a great deal, overcame a lot, and had lots to share about federal IT.
In the interview, Keating discussed the challenges from the past few years and how partners can better serve the needs of federal agencies. “Hybrid work is an opportunity for Federal agencies to capitalize on getting the best workers while they continue to compete with the private industry already making accommodations to attract talent,” she said. As a partner, this means the opportunity to provide hybrid work solutions, and Keating provides key advice to help agencies prepare for this permanent hybrid future.
The build-up to this year’s Cisco Live! was one for the record books. As the event was live for the first time in nearly two years, the IT channel was excited to get back together and back to business. The five-day event was held in Las Vegas and featured keynotes and sessions from some of the top leaders at Cisco. This year’s theme was “All In” as a spokesperson for the event explained, “If anyone’s been ALL IN this past year, it’s you. Keeping apps running, connections connected, and companies adapting and growing. And keeping everything, everywhere secure.”
TD SYNNEX is always looking for new ways to make the fantastic work of partners as seamless as possible. This year, adding to the functionality of the EDGE Focus Tool (EFT) was the recent launch of the EFT mobile app. Previously, partners were empowered with the software to manage IT certifications, but moving it from a desktop to a mobile device allows for better access and availability.
In addition to its new platform, the mobile app also comes with new capabilities. Saxton Barnes, Supervisor, Product Business Management, at TD SYNNEX, explained that they wanted to go beyond just converting the desktop application into a mobile one: “We really wanted to make to make sure that this system continued to iterate on the successes of the EFT from before and ensure it was providing the services that our partners need to thrive.” Among the more beneficial new features of the app are a VIP rebate calculator to help calculate rebate estimates for certain deals and an alert system to alert partners when certifications expire and renewal opportunities are available.