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Partner Summit Awaits: 10 Big Questions For Cisco

Following a lengthy restructuring, the Cisco of 2012 is a little different. With the networking giant's Partner Summit kicking off next week in San Diego, here are 10 questions that should be top of mind for at least a few partners and Cisco observers.

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Will Partner-Led Succeed?

Cisco promised to remove $1 billion in operating expenses over the past year as part of its corporate restructuring. When word of that cut first came nearly a year ago, many partners feared that Cisco's traditionally healthy channel investments would suffer.

Not the case. Cisco invested new money in the channel in the form of a program called partner-led, which is seeing about $75 million in new Cisco channel resources related to incentive programs, a partner relationship management system, and various marketing, sales, training and engineering resources. Headed by former Cisco small-business channel ace Andrew Sage, now vice president worldwide partner-led, the strategy theoretically promises more Cisco business to SMB and midmarket customers with Cisco partners driving the bus.

Cisco also has continued with product and service launches for SMB -- its OnPlus managed services offering has been well-received -- and more details specific to partner-led are expected at this year's Partner Summit.

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