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CRN Exclusive: Cisco Americas Sales Chief Gleeson On Her Spiritual Journey, The Power Of The Channel And Her Decision To Leave Cisco

Alison Gleeson, a 22-year Cisco veteran with a sterling reputation as an advocate for the channel, announced in late May that she would leave the company. She spoke with CRN about what led to that decision.

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What technologies are especially critical for partners to get their minds around in order to be successful over the next couple of years?

I truly believe IoT is real. It is everything today. We've been talking about IoT for a long time, but I think it's really important that our partners understand that the edge matters, and the ability to make decisions at the edge, and understanding the dynamics between the edge, and the cloud, and the hybrid element, and extracting value from the data. So much of that comes through Cisco's network platform. Part of that is being able to have an ecosystem that allows you to bring in and make that data incredibly valuable through data enablement platforms. We get that through a number of ecosystem partners, and we have unique ones for each industry. Gone are the days when you have a solution that represented us, our partner and maybe one other company. In today's world, to do connected cities, connected transportation, we're talking about 10, 12 different companies. It's really critical for our partners to have those landing places so that those ecosystem partners can come in. We have partners who are leading that change, and helping build amazing industry solutions, and there are partners that are working on it.

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