Cisco Partners Eye Partner Summit to Get Scoop on Servers

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print

Cisco’s announcement in March that it would move into the hardware space with a new server product set partner tongues wagging -- in Boston next week partners want details.

Cisco partners are eager to learn more about the networking giant’s UCS solution in the data center, and find out how Cisco plans to help them grow international business opportunities.

As Cisco prepares for its 2009 Channel Partner Summit, to be held June 1-4 in Boston, solution providers are speculating about what news, new products and partner program announcements will come out of the show. Channel Insider talked to some Cisco partners to get the scoop on what they most want to hear from John Chambers and other executives at the show.

Cisco’s announcement in March that it would move into the hardware space with a new server product set tongues wagging. It’s one of the top areas of interest for Pat Scheckel, vice president, CDW.

"We are interested in any news around the further evolution of their data center portfolio, especially with their UCS [Unified Computing System]," he says. Scheckel says CDW has already closed a few deals that integrate UCS and are getting ready to deploy the solutions, so any new information or incentives surrounding the UCS will be welcomed.

Of course, Cisco’s established portfolio of products, especially unified communications, security and wireless are always of interest, Scheckel adds, but he says he’s also hoping to gain more insight into Cisco’s new areas of innovation that aren’t as clearly defined.

As the U.S. economy flounders, it’s becoming more important for solution providers to have a global presence, and Scheckel says he’ll be looking for executives to detail ways to help partners enhance their ability to do business internationally, especially in Europe, Asia and Latin America, he says.

"We just want a further definition of their programs, since their Global Ordering Local Fulfillment (GOLF) and Global Alliance programs are relatively new," he says. "Of course, any updates around partner profitability programs are always of interest to us," Scheckel adds.

Wendy Lucas, vice president of sales, Dimension Data Canada, is also interested in news that can help her company flourish across the globe.

"Dimension Data is a Cisco Global Services Alliance (GSA) partner, so I’d like to learn about any enhanced support that Cisco plans to provide its GSA members, particularly in terms of investments and sales support," Lucas says.

Above all, Lucas says, she’s most interested to find out in which areas and on which technologies Cisco’s placing its largest bets, she says.

"I’d like to hear how Cisco is leveraging its partner relationships to gain an advantage over competitors, and come away with a sold understanding of key verticals for the coming year," she says.

Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

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