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WATCH: Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins Takes The Stage On Final Day Of Partner Summit

After a week of new faces at the Cisco Partner Summit, the final day ended on a familiar note with CEO Chuck Robbins.

Robbins touted Cisco’s recent successes, like Wednesday’s earnings report that showed the company with overall revenue up 8 percent year over year in the first quarter of its 2019 fiscal year, which ended on Oct. 27. It was widely expected for Cisco to struggle in the age of software and cloud, but as Robbins pointed out that’s yet to happen.

“This transition to the cloud and the complexities and environments that our customers are dealing with are calling for the technologies, solutions and capabilities that we all have together,” said Robbins.

[Related: WATCH: Cisco Partner Summit Spotlights Biggest Partner Opportunity In Decades]

New partner incentives and specializations push to get partners up to speed with the transition. Cisco’s new Global Channel Chief Oliver Tuszik said the program enhancements aim to strike a balance between the need to propel partners into a new, software and recurring revenue world while acknowledging the importance of maintaining and developing traditional businesses and strategies.

[Cisco Global Channel Chief Tuszik Moves To Modernize Programs, Add Incentives]

A new Business Specialization and an updated Architecture Specialization will be among the first changes to take hold. The specializations are intended to help partners recognize and take advantage of business in previously untapped areas in hardware and software with a strong emphasis on life-cycle services.

A new Customer Experience Specialization also is on the way in July 2019. The specialization builds on the company's Lifecycle Advisor program and keeps its existing incentives in place while developing additional incentives in the next fiscal year.

Partners tell CRNtv they’re in full support of the changes.

“I think this is amazing for partners,” said Greg Kushto, VP of Sales and Director of Security at Force3, an IT services company specializing in network and security based in Maryland. “They’re looking to us to help them grow, looking to us to, together, get the customer get all the benefits out of this integrated technology.”

[Related: WATCH: Cisco Boosts SD-WAN Offering With Security, Unveils New Collaboration Tools]

“It’s an energized Cisco that we haven’t seen in a while and it’s just fun to be part of that,” added Ron Temske, vice-president of networking solutions at Logicalis, a solution provider based in New York.

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