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Posted by Tirthankar Sen on July 16, 2013
I attended my fifth Cisco Worldwide Partner Summit in Boston the first week of June. As always, the first day’s keynote presentation by John Chambers was impressive and covered market transitions, opportunities, future big bets, and how Cisco can work better with its partners. John also stressed the need for partners to embrace change and move to a new business model.
Building on this presentation, Cisco made three key announcements at its partner summit, which I’m highlighting below because I believe they are especially important for partners that operate in Asia Pacific (AP) markets:
Despite good progress on the partner front, I failed to see enough push from Cisco for a comprehensive ISV strategy. With software playing a far more important role in areas like networking, cloud, and infrastructure management among others, tech vendors like Cisco will need the influence, might, and support of ISVs in the long run.
The other area Cisco must still address is its leasing and financing solution offerings. As partners transform their business models, invest in building cloud infrastructure, and invest in new skills, they will require access to capital, flexible pricing options, longer credit periods, and faster cash flow. Currently underutilized, Cisco Capital has further opportunity to play a major role in all of these areas.
I believe Cisco has set its partner strategy course in the right direction in AP with an increased focus on mid-market and transformation tools for its partners. However, watch this space closely. Cisco’s partner strategy is likely to evolve even further over the next few months, particularly with John Chambers stating very clearly in Boston, “This time next year, I expect it to be all about software.”
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