Cisco's Nirav Sheth On Driving Services With ConnectWise, Cultivating Born-In-The-Cloud Partners And Playing Nice With AWS

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Cisco's ConnectWise Push

Since its launch in early November, Cisco's partnership with ConnectWise has attracted more than 1,000 partners, and Vice President Sales and Systems Engineering Nirav Sheth said the platform's early progress underlines the networking giant's success in transforming to a software-focused, recurring revenue powerhouse.

Partners that want to make the most of the changing IT landscape must take on a role as lifecycle manager, Sheth said, in order to book healthy recurring revenue on solutions like ConnectWise, which combines Cisco's Meraki, Stealthwatch, Spark and Umbrella solutions in a "single pane of glass" platform.

Not every partner has that capacity, Sheth said, and Cisco is seeking out partners within its own program's ranks and elsewhere to drive growth. The company has even begun playing matchmaker between born-in-the-cloud partners and traditional partners in an effort to accelerate cloud-based business and even M&A activity among those partners.

Sheth also talked out the partnership Cisco is developing with one-time cloud foe Amazon Web Services.

What follows is an edited excerpt of Sheth's conversation with CRN.

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