1. Measure Everything: The "buzz" at Cisco Partner Summit is upbeat. But instead of depending on anecdotal feedback, Cisco is gathering attendee information from each session to make sure session scores are high, according to Luanne Tierney, VP of marketing for Cisco's Worldwide Partner Organization.
2. Social Media Dominance: During two short days at the conference, Cisco Partner Summit video chat content has generated nearly 25,454 unique viewers and 37,333 total viewers on Ustream, according to a Cisco spokesperson.
3. Carefully Selected Words: The VAR Guy ran into Senior VP Chuck Robbins at a Cisco-hosted party last night. Robbins accidentally said a bit too much about Cisco vs. HP competition back at the 2009 Cisco Partner Summit. This time around, Robbins tactfully mentioned that competition is healthy for the industry. Sharp guy, Robbins is.
4. Waiting Game: Cisco says the Tandberg and Cisco telepresence partner programs will come together in six to nine months. The VAR Guy knows it takes time to sort out partner programs during M&A activity. But a few partners here at the conference say they may be forced to take a wait-and-see approach to business video because of the partner program evolution.
5. VMware Love Fest: Cisco and VMware announced a closer working relationship in data centers. That's all The VAR Guy has to say about that.
6. Channel Mergers: A few VARs here at the conference are looking to acquire channel partners that have video expertise. During private meetings, Cisco CEO John Chambers continues to say that he'd bet the company on video. Apparently, some channel partners are willing to do the same.
7. MSPs Move In: Managed services providers are here in full force. The VAR Guy is pleased to hear attendees talking about their PSA (professional services automation) and RMM (remote monitoring and management) strategies. Autotask's recent buyout of VARstreet was a topic of conversation at one bar last evening, though another attendee jumped in and mentioned that he's integrating quoting systems with ConnectWise at the moment. Frankly, this level of managed services chatter didn't occur a few days ago at the HP Americas Partner Conference.
8. Remote Control: BlueWater Communications Group, one of Cisco's fastest-growing partners, was on hand to discuss the company's data center strategy for mid-market customers. But the really interesting part of the conversation involved managed services. CEO Bob Cagnazzi mentioned that BlueWater now offers managed services to assist customers with data, voice and video monitoring.
9. Taking the High Road: Privately, a lot of Cisco insiders are asking The VAR Guy about this week's HP Americas Partner Conference. But publicly, Cisco is not dwelling on HP competition here. The VAR Guy wonders if Chambers will mention HP by name during his keynote later today. Our resident blogger's bet: One brief HP mention within a much grander, longer keynote.
10. Exit, Stage Left: Gotta run. The VAR Guy has multiple meetings here today. Back soon with thoughts and video, including a conversation with Cisco CEO John Chambers.
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