Page 2 of 2
Allison noted that deeper collaboration between Microsoft and Cisco partners is more relevant now than ever, given the convergence happening between the software and networking or infrastructure worlds.
"On the application side, more and more customers are wanting to understand how they can have an agile infrastructure that meets their business needs. And, more and more, IT needs to be able to communicate how the solution they've come up with is relevant to the application people," Allison said. "It's about bridging those conversations, and how we are doing that is Microsoft and Cisco coming together."
Allison said the Microsoft-Cisco pilot program provides training resources relevant to both the technical and pre- and post-sales teams within partners' organizations. These resources are available through different mediums, including hands-on labs, on-site trainings and webinars.
"We found that one size does not fit all when it comes to enablement," Allison said.
Moving forward, Allison said Cisco's goal is to scale out and formalize the pilot program. "That is my hope and my expectation," he said. "We are seeing some very, very promising requests and opportunities with the partners to really take things to the next level and we are actively working on doing that."
Allison declined to specify how many partners have participated in the pilot program. Cisco said partners participating in the program include Dimension Data and Softchoice.
Kent MacDonald, vice president of Converged Infrastructure at solution provider and Cisco Gold Partner Long View Systems, said he is glad to see Cisco and Microsoft driving collaboration between their two partner communities.
"We have been active with the Cisco/Microsoft partnership, which has gotten traction earlier this year," MacDonald told CRN via an email. "We have seen some early traction in the midmarket, predominantly with FlexPod deployments, and anticipate this will be an area of growth. [It's] great to see the continued and evolving investment and collaboration between Cisco and Microsoft in the data center/converged infrastructure market."