Key themes and areas of potential technology opportunity for the channel emerged during Cisco’s Worldwide Partner Conference in the US, says country manager Geoff Lawrie.
He was joined at the conference by representatives from local partners Gen-i and Datastor.
Among the most significant issues discussed were collaboration technology and video, Lawrie says.
“Organisations are using collaboration to try to drive productivity,” he says. “Video was also very high on people’s agenda. [At the conference] Cisco released a lot of research showing video is growing exponentially and the implications for networks are, that people will have to have networks up to 20 or even 50 times bigger in the next five years.”
Lawrie says partners and customers will face challenges if their networks are built solely for voice and data, especially due to the growth in the use of video in social networking applications and YouTube.
IT services and the cloud were also major themes. Lawrie says Cisco has a number of initiatives and programmes to help partners capitalise on these opportunities and get to grips with new service models, where they get monthly annuity revenues rather than a one-off payment for sales.
“There is a big difference there in how [partners] manage their profit and loss [with this model].”
The company is also helping partners to focus on specialising amid its expanding portfolio, says Lawrie, and to work with other companies who are specialising in areas outside their area of competence.
Cisco’s Global Partner Network programme helps partners identify other organisations that have complementary skills, says Lawrie. He adds this is useful for firms that have customers globally, but only operate in particular nations.