Empowering Partnerships in the Digital Landscape
Miami, the backdrop for Cisco‘s Partner Summit 2023, witnessed a celebration of collaborations, innovation, and shared opportunities. The core theme, “Greater Together,” echoed the significance of unity in the face of the evolving digital landscape. Cisco‘s EVP and chief customer and partner officer, Jeff Sharritts, highlighted that a remarkable 92 percent of Cisco’s business in the last quarter was driven through partnerships, marking a significant increase from around 50 percent in 2000.
Beyond mere sales, the emphasis on collaboration goes deeper. Sharritts pointed out, “The world is changing rapidly…Paradigms are shifting and being completely rewritten. There are new opportunities, new challenges, new ways to sell, and new buying centers to sell into. Greater Together speaks to all of that. It honors our past, shines a light on our opportunity, but more than anything, it’s a call to action.”
This call to action aligns with the transformative power of technology in addressing critical global issues. Cisco’s extensive partner ecosystem plays a vital role in achieving these transformations. Sharritts underlined the collective effort to make the world better through technology solutions that combat poverty, enhance healthcare and education, fortify critical infrastructure, and secure financial services.
Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins echoed the sentiment, emphasizing that while challenges abound, tremendous opportunities exist, contingent upon powerful innovation and committed teamwork. Robbins stressed that partnerships are pivotal, stating, “Our customers know that they need our partners…60 percent of our customers said they need to expand the number of partners they work with because they need your expertise, they need your capabilities to deal with all the complexities that they have.”
Fueling Partnerships with Technological Innovation
At the heart of successful partnerships lies cutting-edge technology. Liz Centoni, Cisco EVP, chief strategy officer, and GM for applications, highlighted the exceptional innovation within Cisco’s partner ecosystem. The advancements span hyperconnectivity, quantum networking, security, and AI, all converging towards the central theme of cloud, especially in the complex environments of multicloud operations.
Centoni outlined solutions addressing the top priority of customers: operating in a hybrid multicloud world. This includes securely connecting customers from their branch campuses and data centers to the cloud with Cisco’s cloud on-ramp solution, enforcing consistent security policies across public and private clouds, and providing full-stack observability for applications across different clouds.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) emerged as a pivotal component of Cisco’s capabilities. The significance of vast amounts of quality data in maximizing the benefits of AI was emphasized. Jonathan Davidson, EVP, and GM for Cisco networking highlighted the transformative impact of AI and secure connectivity on productivity, sustainability, and profitability. The focus is on simplifying networking across diverse scales, converging management platforms with Cisco Networking Cloud, creating a user-friendly experience.
Thwarting Complexity with Powerful yet Simple Security
Security concerns are paramount for organizations, and Jeetu Patel, Cisco EVP, and GM of security and collaboration, addressed the challenges posed by the complexity of multilayered security solutions. Patel introduced Cisco Security Cloud, an integrated, AI-powered platform designed to protect users, cloud infrastructure, and proactively address breaches.
Highlighting the overwhelming number of vendors and products in the cybersecurity landscape, Patel emphasized the need for simplification. The integration of newly developed products with the power of Splunk, Cisco’s recent substantial acquisition, promises potent solutions to be unveiled in the coming years.
Hybrid Work and Sustainability: Unveiling Opportunities
Chuck Robbins and Jeetu Patel focused on the vast opportunities presented by hybrid work. Patel discussed the reimagining of the Webex platform with AI, investing billions in a robust AI infrastructure. Notable innovations included solutions using generative AI to enhance efficiency in low bandwidth scenarios, presenting a significant leap from industry standards.
Sustainability emerged as another crucial aspect of Cisco’s commitment. Jonathan Davidson underscored Cisco’s investment in innovation, circular IT programs, and extensive support for partners in their sustainability endeavors. The Silicon One chip, a powerful innovation, was showcased for its transformative impact on infrastructure and its role in reducing IT energy demands.
In conclusion, Jeff Sharritts called for sustained innovation and collaboration, reinforcing the message that together, Cisco and its partners are a force to be reckoned with. “Let’s keep innovating, let’s keep collaborating, and let’s show every customer, every competitor, and every person that follows technology that we are greater together.”