Cisco Partner Summit 2022 Live Blog: Cybersecurity, MSP and SMB News Analysis

Cisco Partner Summit 2022 news for MSPs (managed IT service providers) and channel partners across cybersecurity and hybrid cloud networking.

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Luxi Thurisingam, Cisco Systems

Cisco Partner Summit 2022, which kicks off today in Las Vegas, comes at an important time for the networking giant and its partner ecosystem. Indeed, Cisco continues to expand beyond traditional hardware sales into SaaS and annual recurring revenue (ARR) opportunities.

Among the facts to note:

  • Partners drive 90 percent of Cisco’s overall revenue, the company said. Said.
  • Cisco now generates about $4 billion in annual revenue through the SMB segment — with growth of about 30% annually, according to Luxi Thurisingam, head of global partner marketing and SMB.

Side note: We spoke to Thuraisingam at length on November 1, and we’ll share more insights from that conversation soon.

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What is on our minds

Meanwhile, Cisco’s business evolution also faces various challenges. Key questions we’ll be asking on-site at the conference include:

  1. How is the company’s security business performing and evolving — especially after some Cisco security business changes in May 2022?
  2. How is Cisco performing in the SMB sector, where MSP partnerships remain the critical go-to-market for most vendors these days? We’ll be looking for updates to Duo for multi-factor authentication (MFA); Umbrella and cloud-delivered security for SASE; and Secure MSP Center.
  3. What role is Cisco Venture Capital playing in the security business evolution?
  4. How can partners monetize Cisco’s own managed services — without competing with a networking company in the MSP space?

Cisco Partner Summit 2022: Five Areas of Focus

As we pursue answers to those questions, expect Cisco to share updates in these five areas:

  1. Cisco’s Security Cloud Vision.
  2. Cisco’s API-first strategy.
  3. Customer Experience (CX) and Partner Lifecycle Services (PLS).
  4. Hybrid work including WebexOne updates.
  5. “Cloud-scale networking powered by 800G [customers’] Sustainability Goals”.
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Cisco Partner Summit 2022: New Partner Specializations

Meanwhile, Cisco kicked off the conference by announcing six new partner program solution specializations. They include:

  1. Full-stack observability (FSO) To demonstrate to partners their “expertise in centralizing and correlating application performance analytics across the entire IT stack, including integrations across App Dynamics, Thousand Eyes, Intersite, and Secure Application.”
  2. Hybrid work from the office For partners that help customers “evolve traditional on-site and off-site work models.”
  3. Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) For partners that “help customers securely enable a growing universe of roaming users, devices, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps without adding complexity or reducing end-user performance.”
  4. Hybrid cloud computing For partner partners that provide customers with “simple and secure hybrid cloud computing experiences anywhere at home or in the office”
  5. Hybrid cloud networking For partners that “securely and efficiently connect and manage customers’ data, workloads, and applications across data centers, the edge, and multiple clouds.”
  6. Hybrid cloud software For partners who can manage operational complexity by helping customers streamline and consolidate IT operations with secure, hybrid cloud management software.
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As a reminder, there are four categories of partner specializations spanning architectures, solutions, Cisco-powered services (for both managed services and SaaS), and horizontal business expertise.

Next: Our meetings with various Cisco executives and partners begin today (November 1). Keep checking this blog for ongoing updates.

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