Partners convene amid Cisco transition

New Orleans summit with channel allies comes at inflection point for company

After a week of vacation to ski and celebrate my daughter's 8th birthday, I'll be blogging this week from the Cisco Partner Summit in New Orleans. This is an annual confab of Cisco and its authorized reseller, channel and go-to-market allies, a rally of sorts to ensure everyone is singing from the same hymnal.

The conference comes at a very interesting time for Cisco and its business. Product transitions are hitting margins, consumers are not buying Cisco's architecture pitch, pricey acquisitions like Scientific-Atlanta and Pure Digital are struggling to produce ROI, and evidence is mounting that Cisco's 30 market adjacencies may be spreading the company too thin.

We chronicled much of this in coverage of Cisco's Q2 financials and in subsequent stories on how these issues amount to a transition of the company itself. Forbes notes that Cisco's stock price slide coincides with a climb for Juniper. And Forbes also intimates that the current challenges at Cisco may be a reflection of the uber optimism of CEO John Chambers himself.

Whatever the reasons, it should make for an interesting conference here in New Orleans.  Cisco's partners may have a unique perspective into the company's strategy and execution.

Let's see if they'll share them...

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