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Something that's come up quite a bit is that going back to Partner Summit a year ago, you rolled out the cloud badges -- Cisco put a stake in the ground and showed partners a path toward playing in the cloud as builders, providers and resellers. It sounds like a lot of partners went down that path. A year later, are you seeing the uptake you thought you would?
Yes, and I'll be very candid, I think the acceleration of private cloud has allowed many of our partners to capitalize on that as cloud builders -- integrators who are there to help customers lower op-ex, increase speeds and service. That's been hugely successful. Cloud providers, what we've seen with our hosted collaboration solution and what we're working on with MSPs has been, quite frankly, a home run. We've seen our ability to build relevant communications and collaboration offers as a service, not just with telecommunications companies but with others that have been building managed services practices for years.
The third plank of our strategy is now we're beginning to see some of the next-generation cloud offers from some of those cloud providers coming to market. That's a place we may start to see some increased momentum -- the cloud reseller plank. Unless you have a lot of people with cloud builders -- who have built those enterprise- or government-class cloud services -- you don't get the cloud reseller model leveraged just yet. But if you look at this shift in mobility and what's going to happen with the importance of the mobile network, you're probably going to see some opportunity to open up some new ideas in the reseller program and take that to the next level.
I believe the cloud provider program has been absolutely successful, we have great momentum with cloud builders, and we're probably just seeing the start of even more activity for the cloud resellers now. I think the program has been well received and makes even more sense now. We have seen competitors introduce competing cloud offers, and that continues to create opportunity for Cisco.
Since the last Partner Summit, we've seen quite a bit of consolidation among a lot of the bigger national solution providers, most of whom are Cisco partners. Do you expect that to continue, especially when partners want to go both deep and broad with these capabilities and get there via acquisition instead of organically?
If you're in a market where the trends are moving toward a network-centered approach to solving problems in IT, then clearly, we're going to see a growing level of interest in quality partnerships and the rich services our partners have built, and that goes all the way back to the NTT-Dimension Data alignment a few years ago. There are important moves that have occurred in the U.S. space, but they are happening around the world. The market is coming to the network, and increasingly, those in IT are looking at systems integrator capabilities to solve customer problems.
I'd anticipate the consolidation trend will continue. I'd anticipate that because we're the market leader, many of those companies that will become part of bigger organizations will be in the Cisco channel. We're the market leader. We're very supportive of making this happen relative to the role we can play in making the right things happen. So the answer to your question is that we will see a constant drumbeat of consolidation as the market becomes more relevant and companies serving these customers look at expanding their capabilities.
Do you think midsize to large solution providers, and by that I mean regional players about $100 million to about $300 million or $500 million, are they almost forced at this point to look at that option? Is there a future for me based on all this consolidation if I only do one or two things really well?
The way we architect our relationship with our partners is to allow them to be deeply specialized. I was the CEO of a regional VAR, and my execution strategy and differentiation was how specialized I was. And then there are those who can be more general and cover global accounts or entire market segments. But I don't think that paints anyone into a corner, and I think we're going to see some people do very well by maintaining specializations and differentiation. That could be geographic, it could be in vertical markets, it could be a unique way of helping customers transition to private or public or hybrid clouds. The messages are services matter, capabilities really matter and knowing your place in the market and continuing to invest in that differentiated strategy is the key to success. I think people can do very well as midsized regional VARs.
But the message remains, 'Specialize.' Be good at whatever it is you specialize in.
That's been the message for years, and is more true now than at any point in the past.
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