Cisco Partner Summit 2018: Live Blog Day Two

Cisco Partner Summit 2018 kicks into high gear today, as the networking company unveiled a “Bridge to Possible” campaign to better integrate Cisco, partners and customers into the multi-cloud world, and associated business opportunities.

Here’s a sampling of what ChannelE2E has heard:

Oliver Tuszik

Amy Chang

Gerri Elliott

1. The Changing Face of Cisco: Former Channel Chief Wendy Bahr has moved on from the company. Cisco opened the conference with a brief statement thanking Bahr for her contributions — but then turned the page to introduce a range of new executives and faces to the audience. Key first-time presenters include:

  • Gerri Elliott, executive VP, chief sales and marketing officer;
  • Amy Chang, senior VP, collaboration technology group; and
  • Oliver Tuszik, SVP, global partner organization.

The most compelling message came from Chang, who conceded that Cisco’s cloud strategy has been a bit arrogant, and occasionally limited by siloed solutions. She vowed that would change — and pointed to rapidly improving integration across WebEx and Jabber.

2. The Changing Business Model – A Status Report: CEO Chuck Robbins isn’t scheduled to present until Thursday. No doubt, he’s busy prepping for Cisco’s earnings call on Wednesday. Cisco’s shift to recurring revenue will surely be a key topic for that call.

3. The Partner Ecosystem: Gerri Elliott, executive VP plus chief sales and marketing officer, is the first Cisco executive to oversee both sales and marketing. Like 24 percent of attendees, this is Elliott’s first Cisco Partner Summit. But she also noted that 15 percent of partners have attended 10 or more summits.

4. The Partner of the Future: Cisco continues to hammer home next-generation partner business models, as outlined in this photo:

5. Cloud Calling Services, Integrations: Webex Teams now has a full PBX capability, the company says. It’s Unified Communication on steroids, Cisco claims, available through service providers. Cisco BroadCloud Calling, a phone system in the cloud, is now integrated with Cisco Webex Teams through service providers.

6. Cloud Calling Payment Plans: Cisco BroadCloud Calling is now part of a Flex plan — allowing service providers to offer pay-as-you-go services ti customers. Initially available through six service providers in the U.S., it will expand to support global locations across 19 countries in 2018, with continued expansion continuing through 2019 and beyond, the company says.

7. Team Collaboration & Video Conferencing: New offerings include the Webex Room Kit Mini — a video chat platform that includes cameras and microphones for small shared workspace areas. Deeper details are here.

8. SD-WAN Gains Security:  Cisco is unifying its security and software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), essentially assuring partners and customers that security isn’t some sort of SD-WAN bolt-on.

9. Stay tuned: We’ll be back with more updates throughout the day, including highlights from a Cisco gathering for MSPs focused on the SMB sector.


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