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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

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.