Much like the entertainment industry’s awards season, the IT channel has its partner event season through February and March.
Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a number of these events, hosted by a wide variety of manufacturers. Through it all, I must admit that the Partner Summit event Cisco hosts is without question the best of the best. The quality of the speakers, the quality of the sessions, and the overall quality of the event weave together to make Partner Summit a “don’t miss” for many of us in the channel.
However, even with the long run that Cisco Partner Summit has had, they can still present us with a few firsts. Here are a number of firsts this calendar year that I am looking forward to at Cisco Partner Summit:
• This is the first time we’ll see Chuck Robbins speak as the CEO. He’s an effortless speaker, and in the past has been an agenda highlight.
• This is the first time we’ve met a great deal of Chuck’s team, demonstrating that a number of changes in Cisco’s C suite have been made since our last conference together.
• This is the first year that I can remember where there will be TWO partner summits in the calendar year. Cisco recently announced their desire to bring this event closer to the start of their fiscal year, and closer to the large sales gathering (GSX) that they host internally every year.
Beyond some of these inaugural moments, I’m also anxious to hear about emerging trends and pain points in the channel. I expect the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Internet of Everything (IoE) to be dominant topics as well as the discussion surrounding the digitization movement.
Additionally, as we dig deeper into the breakout sessions, I’m curious to hear about what the areas that YOU, the customer and partner, think are important. Similarly, partners across the country tell me that they are looking for direction and discussion in the areas of Security, Services and portfolio expansion and how to drive profit quickly in each of those areas.
The other major element of Partner Summit is the opportunity to meet with old friends and see familiar faces. Networking is ultimately one of the best parts of this event as well, and Cisco does a great job of building in time for all of us to touch base and have some fun. And, of course, Comstor has a bit of reputation for throwing a little party on Tuesday night…so we can all look forward to that as well!
I hope to see YOU at Partner Summit.
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