Job Well Done: Cisco Honors 12 Solution Providers For 'Outstanding Performance'

A Pat On The Back

Spirits were high among solution providers at this year's Cisco Partner Summit in Boston. For many, their Cisco business was soaring in 2012, and it's projected to grow even more in 2013, particularly as the networking giant gets bullish about the cloud, services and the midmarket.

To recognize and thank partners for a great 2012, Cisco handed out a number of awards, spanning different geographical theaters, regions and markets. In the U.S theater, specifically, 12 partners were recognized for what Cisco called their "outstanding performance" last year. Here's a look at the winners' circle.

Dimension Data

CEO: Brett Dawson

Dimension Data for the second year in a row took home Cisco's award for Architectural Excellence: U.S. Borderless Networks.

"Dimension Data is honored to be recognized by Cisco for Architectural Excellence: U.S. Borderless Networks. This recognition demonstrates our ongoing commitment to our partnership and our focus on the strategic importance of network as the platform," said Lawrence Van Deusen III, director of Network Integration for Dimension Data Americas. "We've achieved significant growth with Cisco's security, wireless and mobility, and data center networking solutions and expect this trajectory to continue as we further align our world-class IT services offerings with Cisco's architectural innovations."

Dimension Data also took home several other Cisco awards for its practices in EMEA, Australia and India.

World Wide Technology

CEO: James P. Kavanaugh

Cisco's Architectural Excellence: U.S. Collaboration award went to World Wide Technology, a St. Louis-based solution provider and key driver behind Cisco's Virtualization Experience Infrastructure and Cisco Virtual Office solutions.

"It was an honor to be recognized by Cisco at the Partner Summit," said Bob Olwig, vice president of business development and innovation for WWT. We take great pride in helping clients evaluate and architect solutions that empower them to work their way and wherever they want to."

WWT took home several awards at this year's event, including Defense Partner Of The Year for Cisco's Public Sector designations and Enterprise Partner Of The Year for Cisco's Strategic Partner designations.

Iron Bow

CEO: Rene B. LaVigne

Iron Bow was crowned winner of Cisco's Architectural Excellence: U.S. Data Center category.

"This recognition from Cisco points to the technical strength and dedication of the Iron Bow team in delivering innovative Cisco technologies into our robust data center solutions to help customers recognize efficiencies and cost savings," said Jim Smid, Chief Technology Officer at Iron Bow, in a statement.

In addition, Iron Bow took home an award for Public Sector Data Center Partner Of The Year and U.S. East Data Center Partner Of The Year.

CCI Systems

CEO: John Jamar

Iron Mountain, Mich.-based solution provider CCI Systems left this year's Partner Summit with an award in Architectural Excellence: U.S. Service Provider Architectures.

CCI has a major practice aimed at service providers and teleco operators, offering everything from network mapping and design to managed services for broadband and voice.

"We are truly honored to be recognized for this achievement by Cisco," said Joe Smith, vice president, networks at CCI. "At CCI Systems, we have always prided ourselves on our engineering expertise we provide for our customers with every Cisco Solution designed and implemented. We continue to invest in staying in front of technology and providing that knowledge as an advantage to our customers."


CEO: Daniel Serpico

This year's Partner Summit was a good one for San Francisco-based solution provider FusionStorm, which took home the Cisco Capital Partner Of The Year award in both the U.S. and global categories.

FusionStorm, also a member of CRN's 2013 Tech Elite 250, is one of the largest U.S. solution providers playing in the data center and networking markets. The Cisco Gold Partner boasts a major managed services practice, through which it provides everything from remote management services to infrastructure-as-a-service.

FusionStorm also has a philanthropic arm that has contributed to organizations ranging from the San Francisco Food Bank to Autism Speaks.


CEO: Bob Cagnazzi

Presidio Networked Solutions was recognized at this year's Partner Summit as Cisco's Cloud Builder Partner Of The Year, both in the U.S. and on a global scale.

The Greenbelt, Md.-based Presidio has long demonstrated its ability to build and deploy cloud-ready infrastructures based on Cisco solutions. Last year, Presidio grew its cloud prowess even more through its acquisition of fellow Cisco Cloud Builder Partner BlueWater Communications.

West IP

CEO: Thomas Barker

West IP's rich DNA in providing cloud-based communication applications and services landed it Cisco's U.S. Cloud Provider Partner Of The Year award at this year's Partner Summit.

West IP, a subsidiary of West Corporation, has been a Cisco Cloud Provider Partner since October 2012, operating its own Cisco-powered cloud in support of Cisco's Hosted Collaboration Solutions. The Louisville, Ky.-based solution provider is also a Cisco Gold Partner and holds a Cisco Managed Services Channel Program (MSCP) Master certification.

Ingram Micro

CEO: Alain Monie

Cisco also paid tribute to its distributors at this year's Partner Summit, recognizing Ingram Micro as its U.S. Distribution Partner Of The Year.

The award comes just three months after Ingram Micro signed on to start offering Cisco's Hosted Collaboration Solution through its Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace. The offering, Ingram Micro said at the time, will allow partners to apply subscription-based or as-a-service models to Cisco collaboration technologies including its UC Suite and WebEx.

Ingram Micro also took home Cisco's Distribution Partner Of The Year award for its work in other geographies, including Cisco's Central, North and South American regions, as well as Spain.

Sunset Learning Institute

CEO: Rick Morgan

In addition to its channel and distributor partners, Cisco tipped its hat to its Learning Partners, or partners that help train both Cisco customers and other partners on Cisco products and architectures. Sunset Learning Institute was recognized as Cisco's Learning Partner Of The Year in the U.S., marking its third time winning the award. Sunset, based in Reston, Va., is one of the original eight Authorized Cisco Training providers and has been providing Cisco courses for 12 years.

"We are pleased to accept Cisco's U.S. Learning Partner of the Year Award. This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication that our staff and partners contribute each and every day," said Sunset Learning Institute CEO Rick Morgan in a statement. We continue to make positive developments with our customers and partners that attribute directly to our success and growth. We are honored to be recognized by Cisco for these achievements."

Pictured from left at the Cisco Partner Summit: Dennis Dahl, Cisco operations director: Rick Morgan CEO of Sunset Learning Institute: Scott Goree of Cisco Worldwide Learning Partner Channels.


CEO: Glen F. Post, III

CenturyLink didn't walk away from this year's Partner Summit empty-handed. The Monroe, La.-based telecom provider took home the U.S. Service Provider Partner Of The Year award, and also two awards in Cisco's Service Provider category, including Managed Service Partner Of The Year and Services Partner Of The Year, and an award for Federal Partner of the Year: Civilian Organizations.

"CenturyLink is honored to be recognized at the Cisco Partner Summit for the fifth consecutive year," said Frank Grillo, CenturyLink vice president of business marketing. "These accolades validate our commitment to solutions that make businesses and government agencies more effective through technologically advanced solutions"

CenturyLink subsidiary Savvis also took home the Architectural Excellence: Data Center award for the U.S./Canada region, and contributed to CenturyLink's U.S. Service Provider Partner Of The Year award, CenturyLink said.

Alexander Open Systems

CEO: Gary Alexander

Alexander Open Systems was pronounced Cisco's U.S. Services Partner Of The Year, a praise that seems more than fitting given the Overland Park, Kan.-based solution providers' growing investment in its services arm over the past year.

In an interview at Partner Summit, AOS CEO Gary Alexander said his business, driven by both Cisco's products and services, was up $30 million in 2012, and he expects it to be up $36 million this year.

"Things are going very well across the Cisco product line," Alexander said. "We are now in Cisco's fourth quarter and our forecast is big. They are the best at helping partners make those transitions. They have the best partner programs of anybody out there. We make really good money with Cisco."

AOS also won a Cisco award for Outstanding Customer Satisfaction in the U.S. Central region.


CEO: Pierre Nanterme

Cisco's U.S. Solution Innovation Partner of the Year award went to Accenture, whose massive Cisco business touches the data center, collaboration and really everything in between.

Accenture's Cisco unit -- called the Accenture and Cisco Business Group -- also places a heavy focus on converged infrastructure and unified compute, two areas that have become a sweet spot for Cisco and its partners with the advent of Cisco's Unified Computing System. Accenture also has a robust Cisco Smart Solutions practice, offering network and data analytics, along with smart energy solutions, an area the Cisco services team emphasized at this year's Partner Summit.

Earlier this year, Accenture earned Cisco's 2012 Supplier Of The Year award at the networking giant's third annual Global Procurement Services conference.