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Cisco to create channel ecosystem for the Internet of Everything

Bruce Klein the former leader of Cisco's Worldwide Partner Organization

LAS VEGAS – The Internet of Everything in nine months grew from a $14.5 trillion worldwide profit and economic savings opportunity in the next decade to a $19 trillion one. For Canada it grew from $400 billion to half a trillion dollars in the same time.

In an effort to capture this opportunity Cisco Systems unveiled a new channel program at its Partner Summit show called Cisco Partner Ecosystem. At the heart of this new program is channel partner created solutions. Cisco’s senior vice president of Worldwide Partner Organization Bruce Klein, told CDN in an exclusive interview that he expects to see thousands of solutions coming in from this program.

The program was designed to attract solution providers from a variety of areas of disciplines such as independent software vendors (ISV), app developers, IT consultants and companies developing product solutions for the Internet of Things.

“Software is key,” Klein said. “We want thousands of ISVs. The top 140 ISVs bring in more than $22 billion in revenue. We want to attract developers and there are thousands of developers if you just look at the Microsoft community. The ISVs are for now with the Partner Ecosystem program and they are looking for platforms and we intend to be a platform company for them,” Klein added.

The company also rollout developer environment called DevNet, which will include a portal along with tools and other resources specific for developers to create integrated apps for the Internet of Everything. DevNet will also be a place for developers to collaborate with other developers on Internet of Everything projects.

Cisco also announced another portal called Cisco Marketplace for solution provider collaboration and for sourcing enterprise-class apps, products and services.

Richmond Hill, Ont.-based solution provider Esna Technologies Inc. used these resources to develop an app called Cloudlink. Cloudlink provides collaboration by connecting Cisco Unity Connection, Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco HCS, Cisco Business Edition 6000 and WebEx with cloud-based productivity applications such as Salesforce, Jive and Google Apps.

“For every $5 gained through the Partner Ecosystem program partners get a value that can grow to 9X,” Klein said.

The Cisco Partner Ecosystem program will also mean that networking giant will be serious channel recruitment mode.

“We need to build this ecosystem together,” Klein said. “We can deliver on this ecosystem to drive higher margins. When you look at it from the outside and then look at the capabilities what is popping up is gaps with ISVs, consultants and developers. Small companies that are focus and have expertise. They could be new cloud partners with vertical expertise. So we are on a recruitment binge to build out the partner ecosystem,” Klein said.

Currently Cisco has 67,000 channel partners worldwide and Klein told CDN that it was too early to put a number on how many the company is looking for.

What he did say was these ecosystem partners will play a role in the Internet of Everything and will look to sell outcomes for customers.

“We want them to sell to the line of business managers and sell transformation to the CXO and it will cut across everything we see in IT,” Klein said.