- Awards. In October, we announced the winners of our 2017 Experience Vendor Awards, and Cisco was an Ingram Micro Vendor of the Year winner in two categories, including:
- 2017 Networking Manufacturer Partner of the Year
- 2017 Cloud Manufacturer Partner of the Year
Additionally, Cisco honored Ingram Micro with five awards at its Annual Partner Summit, including Cisco’s Global Award for Distributor of the Year. Clearly our two companies work very closely and have a strong partnership, which is further revealed in the highlights below.
- Cisco Spark and Umbrella are now available on Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace. The Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace is an online ecosystem that brings together buyers and sellers to conduct business on a single platform with confidence and ease. Last year, the Marketplace, which now has more than 2 million active seats, welcomed Cisco Spark and Cisco Umbrella to the lineup, making Ingram Micro the first distributor authorized to market and sell these solutions. Cisco Spark is an app-centric, cloud-based service that provides a complete collaboration suite for teams to create, meet, message, call, white board and share—regardless of whether they’re together or apart. It allows employees to work faster and smarter, controlling costs and optimizing resources. And Cisco Umbrella is a cloud-based security platform at the DNS (domain name system) layer and provides the first line of defense against threats on the internet by blocking requests to malicious destinations (domains, IPs, URLs) before a connection is established. It provides protection against threats over all ports and protocols and can protect internet access across all devices on a network, all office locations and roaming users.
- Solving the corporate collaboration conundrum. In just about every business conversation, the topic of collaboration comes up. However, for many businesses real collaboration is an elusive pursuit. Cisco unveiled Spark and Spark Board last year as an antidote to common corporate communication frustrations. One of the key differentiators that separates Cisco Spark Board from other smart boards and videoconferencing systems is that it’s delivered entirely from the Cisco cloud, which reduces the expense, complexity and limitations of proprietary video systems and platforms. With Cisco Spark, users gain access to the full feature set via computer workstations, tablets or smartphones.
- Solving the legacy network challenge. Since 2015, products supporting the 802.11ac Wave 2 (W2) standard became available, pushing Wi-Fi speeds to up to 6.8 Gbps—far beyond the 1000BASE-T Cat5e or Cat6 cabling throughput many companies still use. Who would have ever imagined that the LAN would become the bottleneck in a wireless LAN rollout?
The NBASE-T Alliance was created to address the aforementioned issue. The nonprofit group developed new technology that would enable legacy Cat5e and Cat6 cabling to accommodate between 2.5x and 5x (i.e., 2.5GbE and 5GbE) throughput by using wireless gear that supports the alliance’s IEEE-approved standard, 802.3bz. The new standard increases information density and adjusts spectral bandwidth to achieve throughput up to 5x greater than what was previously possible. Cisco released several lines of multigigabit switches last year (e.g., Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series) that support the NBASE-T standard and enable partners to deliver exponential performance improvements to legacy networks.
- Cisco acquisitions. Cisco completed seven acquisitions in 2017 and announced its intent to acquire two additional companies, including cloud calling and contact center solutions provider, BroadSoft, and Cmpute.io, a software solution that analyzes cloud-deployed workloads and consumption patterns and identifies cost-optimization strategies. The solution helps customers right-size their cloud workload instances, minimize overprovisioning and avoid paying for resources that don’t deliver business value. With a multicloud strategy, customers need to budget, buy and consume differently. These latest announcements put Cisco above the 200 mark for acquisitions and highlight just how diverse its business has become over the past four years.
Without a doubt, 2017 was a good year for Ingram Micro and Cisco—along with many of our channel partners. It’s exciting to think, too, that many of the new products, services and acquisitions that came about last year will start bearing fruit this year, which promises to help make 2018 even better than last year.