In the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, some serious overhauls needed to be made when it came to event strategy and how industry leaders can continue to connect with and learn from each other at a safe distance. The SYNNEX Comstor team understands the great value that industry events bring for their partners and pushed to bring that value to their screens during these uncertain times with the SYNNEX Inspire Virtual Tradeshow series.
Telework and business continuity are already areas in which Cisco has built a strong business model, so their community is well-versed in how much can really be accomplished in a remote setting. This presented the opportunity for SYNNEX Comstor to shine a bright light on those capabilities for their partners and show a direct application of those technologies for the customers in today’s professional climate. During SYNNEX Inspire, a recent webinar was shared titled The Rise of the Teleworker: Working Outside of the Walls, hosted by Brian Avery, Field Account Manager – Velocity Sales at Cisco. The webinar was true to its name, featuring the variety of tools available to Cisco partners as they work to meet growing demands of their customers.
“At Cisco, we have had for many years a leading mentality around trying to do things to help customers and people be better at living their lives, both their business lives and their personal lives,” stated Avery, as he touched on Cisco’s sizable role in enabling the remote workforce during COVID-19. According to Avery, Cisco’s organization stability and known ability to produce innovative technology is invaluable to customers facing great change today.
Avery shared the virtual stage with Samuel Andersen, Systems Engineer at Cisco Meraki, Larissa Muchnick, Distribution Manager for U.S. and Canada at Cisco Meraki, Chirag Saxena, Senior Manager for Systems Engineering – Global Network Security at Cisco, and Brad Oliver, Senior Manager – Global Collaboration iSales at Cisco.
Andersen and Muchnick covered WorkConnect from Meraki, a collection of Meraki products designed to help remote workers connect to their networks reliably and securely from anywhere. Their ongoing Remote Workforce Accelerator promotion includes global channel discounts for all MX and MI products through the second half of the year with orders booked before July 25, 2020. This promotion is eligible for all Meraki MX and MI HW and License SKUs. Additionally, as part of Cisco’s response to the growing remote workforce, Cisco partners can offer their customers a 90-day free trial for Meraki Insight over the next two months.
Security has been an especially critical subject for organizations working to rapidly expand their telework capabilities, and the challenges that come with increased mobility can be overwhelming for organizations without the right security infrastructure in place. Based on data revealed in Cisco’s Annual Cybersecurity Report, as shared by Saxena, 52 percent of respondents stated that mobile devices are challenging to defend, yet only 27 percent of organizations are currently using multi-factor authentication (MFA).
Saxena walked through different Cisco security offerings that address these concerns, such as Cisco Duo, AMP for Endpoints, Cisco Umbrella, and Cisco AnyConnect. Currently, as part of Cisco’s Secure Remote Worker program, partners have access to a crafted announcement that can be shared with customers, offers for expanded capacity/upgraded licenses for core remote work product until July 1, 2020, and extended trial license periods for potential new customers.
Oliver dug into the importance of collaboration tools like Webex as the remote workforce navigates their new work settings and the best ways to connect with their team members. Cisco recognizes the cruciality of this capability and, in turn, is offering 90 days of Webex for free with no minute restrictions. This allows partners and their customers to “keep the lights on” and keep business running as productively as possible, as Oliver put it, until they are able to standup the best IT infrastructure for their organization.
Webex saw as many as 240,000 new signups in a day during the month of March and Webex Teams usage doubled over the month compared to pre-COVID numbers, according to Oliver. This rapid adoption of collaboration tools like Webex shows how aggressively Cisco customers are looking for a trusted, truly global tool for their teams. Right now, Cisco Webex is offering various trial extensions for their partner-led try and buy approach, giving customers a chance to see how these tools can change the way their teams work first-hand.