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Mont Phelps, president and CEO of NWN, Waltham, Mass., is among the many VARs urging Cisco to move past hype and excitement around the Tandberg integration, the expansion of UCS and other key pieces of the Cisco vision and offer partners rock solid recipes for success with those things.
"One thing that Chambers has always done is he likes to say we're in a transition and that creates opportunities, we just need the technology and gear to do it," Phelps said. "That's true, and great, but it's important to hear what we're actually going to be able to sell and install."
Kent MacDonald, vice president of network services at Long View Systems, Calgary, Alberta, said the early buzz on Partner Summit holds that Cisco will do exactly that, as well as address opportunities for Cisco partners in the cloud and even with other, sometimes competitive, vendors.
"I heard there's going to be a session on Cisco UC and Microsoft UC practices," MacDonald said. "That's supporting the channel. We're in a spot where the market is asking us to support both of those rather than having to deal with two large corporations. Cisco wants an end-to-end solution but they're also recognizing that partners are being caught in the middle and they can make it less painful for them."
Rus Healy, chief technology officer of Annese & Associates, a Herkimer, N.Y.-based solution provider, also requested that Cisco focus as much on execution in the channel trenches as it does on vision.
"What I see and hear a lot is a vision that's such a high level that it's hard to imagine where the execution is going to land," Healy said. "The video conversation, that's been going on for the last couple of years and it's been hard to translate into any sort of reality. The Tandberg acquisition will give them the tools to create that reality."
"It's not always been easy to connect the dots between the bigger marketing message and the nuts and bolts in terms of products and solutions," added SOS' McNutt. "There's been a lot of vision-painting and I'm looking to have it filled in. I'm also looking for anything coming down the pike in terms of programs for us to understand. How will all these new things translate in VIP, OIP and PDF? Those programs are all central to our business now and should anything change with one of those, it's a big deal for us."