Top 100 Cisco Partner Summit Highlights (60-41)
Part three of our five-part countdown. Everything you need to knowâ€“and a few things youâ€™d rather not knowâ€“about Ciscoâ€™s annual partner conference, held this week at the Venetian Hotel Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Letâ€™s continue the countdownâ€¦
8o-61) Click here
60) Scoring with Pele (AKA Smart Care Service): Riordan Maynard, founding partner of Touchbase–a major solutions provider in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America–expanded on some of the comments he shared with The VAR Guy last night (see item #92). During a press conference, he described how he beta tested Pele … the code-name for Cisco’s new Smart Care Service. Maynard is using Smart Care to remotely manage customer networks. Through Smart Care Service, Cisco claims customers receive security, simplicity and productivity for a single price. Partners gain profitability, customer loyalty and growth. The system will be generally available in September.
59) You Set The Price: There is no MSRP for Cisco’s new Smart Care Service (see #60, above). The partner sets the price. All Cisco partners receive flat pricing, and then the partner charges customers a monthly fee based on the level of value-added services delivered.
58) Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That: During a HeathPresence demonstration, Cisco VP Chuck Robbins agreed to have his temperature taken–under one condition: “That thing’s oral, right?”
57) IPcelerate: This Cisco partner is a poster child for unified communication. Here’s why.
56) Winning Hand?: The VAR Guy spotted Cisco CEO John Chambers at a black jack table early Wednesday evening.
55) Are You From Apple?: During press, Q&A, The VAR Guy asks Chambers if Cisco will partner with Apple on iPhone/unified communications. Chambers quickly realizes that The VAR Guy is blogging with a MacBook Pro. Hmmm. See the final Top 10 of this countdown for Chambers’ perspective on Apple.
54) We’re Streaking: Cisco blogger and former VARBusiness executive editor T.C. Doyle apparently will do a video blog in his birthday suit, according to one trusted tipster. Who says VARBusiness veterans are Old School? The VAR Guy doesn’t know if he has the stomach to watch. Update: Here’s that video blog from Doyle. The VAR Guy’s eyes are closed.
53) Cisco Meets CDW: Berbee Information Networks, acquired by CDW last year, earned several partner honors at the show.
52) Goodbye Treo, Hello iPhone?: Various Cisco employees struggled with Palm Treo problems during the conference. The VAR Guy threw away his malfunctioning Treo months ago. Memo to Eric Benhamou, chairman of 3Com and Palm: Fix the Treo before you hand all your business to Apple.
51) Next Time I’ll Walk: It costs $65 for a limo ride from The Venetian to Caesar’s Palace. Total trip distance: less than a mile. The VAR Guy didn’t have to pick up the tab, though.
50) I Know That Dude: When The VAR Guy bumped into the CEO of BlueWater Communications Group, a Cisco solutions provider in New York, something seemed very familiar. Turns out CEO Bob Cagnazzi grew up two houses away from The VAR Guy.
49) Data Center: Cisco is using those two words more and more frequently. Move over, IBM and EMC.
48) Virtual Travel: Another term for TelePresence. Cisco intends to cut its own travel expenses by 20 percent using TelePresence technology.
47) Two Scoops, Please: The VAR Guy’s daily consumption of gelato while at the conference. Some much for his recent health kick.
46) ThinkPad Shop: According to anecdotal evidence here at the show, Cisco continues to rely on Lenovo Thinkpads for the bulk of its laptop purchases.
45) Positive Reaction: Cisco’s recent Reactivity acquisition could bolster the company’s XML and Web 2.0 initiatives, according to several conference attendees.
44) You’re Invited, Too: Several Linksys executives were at Cisco Partner Summit, even though Linksys has a separate partner program.
43) Municipal Wireless Takes Hold: Aptilo Networks, EDX Wireless and several other Cisco partners demonstrated applications for public broadband networks — otherwise known as MuniWireless.
42) IT Graveyard: When discussing competition with Microsoft, Cisco CEO John Chambers listed numerous aspiring rivals that Cisco has trampled, including Dell.
41) Dead And Buried By 2014?: Chambers says it takes two years for a company to fall from grace and five years to realize it. He’s as paranoid as ever.
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