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Embrace The Digital Transformation: Key Takeaways from Cisco's Partner Summit 2016

March 30, 2017

Cisco’s annual Partner Summit (#CiscoPS16) took place March 1–3 in San Diego, with more than 2,000 partners from 85 countries in atwas the first Partner Summit led by Cisco’s new CEO, Chuck Robbins, and the theme for this year’s event, “Powered by Partnerships,” was most fitting considering his years of experience in Cisco’s channel organization.

In addition to reinforcing Cisco’s commitment to the channel, Robbins challenged partners to get ready to go faster. “Technology transitions are moving faster than I’ve ever seen in my 29 years in this business,” he said. “We are on the front end of a massive digital transformation. Just in the next four years, we are going to go from 18 billion connected devices to 50 billion devices. Those who are strong are going to embrace this transition now, regardless of dynamics in the economy and geopolitical issues.” When things get tough, that’s when Cisco and its partners separate themselves from the competition, he shared.  

One thing that’s enabling Cisco to move more quickly with the changing IT landscape is the Cisco Digital Network Architecture (DNA), an open, software-driven, service-centric solution. Cisco DNA includes a new automation platform and applications, an array of cloud-based management services, and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Infrastructure Software.

During his keynote, Robbins also unveiled the Cisco Multi-Cloud Architecture, which comprises next-gen data center platforms (e.g. Cisco HyperFlex, built on Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) compute platform), software-defined infrastructure, and multi-cloud orchestration (through a tool from newly acquired company, CliQr). The ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) used in Cisco’s CloudScale next-gen data center platform products are 18 to 24 months ahead of anything else available in the market, said Robbins. “Customers can now have 100-Gigabit performance at 40-Gigabit cost and 25-Gigabit performance at 10-Gigabit cost. These ASICs will enable you to provide analytics and security the moment the packets hit the wire.” That’s what we need to solve today’s security issues, in addition to providing application flow information in data centers and helping channel partners understand what applications do when they leave the servers, he said.

Robbins shared that Cisco would be entering the hyperconverged market, too, through two components: HyperFlex, a hyperconverged server/storage solution based on Cisco’s UCS servers and hyperconverged technology. This move also will include an expansion of Cisco’s data-center switching portfolio with the new Nexus 9200 top-of-rack switch, a product that boasts 25/50/100 GbE connectivity and gives Cisco a 6- to 9-month head start on its competition, said Robbins.

Cisco channel partners looking to get a deeper understanding of these recent announcements should check out “Cisco Data Center 101,” a free training available April 5 through Ingram Micro’s Experience Center Training Academy (ECTA). Each training session is conducted live via WebEx by a team of Ingram Micro experts who have decades of Cisco engineering experience. If you haven’t checked it out yet, click here to see the entire curriculum and schedule for the next two months, sign up, and get ready to embrace the digital transformation.