Cisco’s Intercloud gets channel chief, more partners

Edison Peres will now lead Cisco's Intercloud partner strategy

Edison Peres will now lead Cisco’s Intercloud partner strategy

Cisco used its recent Cisco Live event in San Francisco to further flesh out its Intercloud strategy, first announced at its Partner Summit in March, introducing a slew of new partners in mixed cloud strategy, and re-assigning its longtime channel chief to lead the charge.

The networking giant announced several new partners who will make their products available in the Intercloud environment, or who have jumped on the Intercloud approach with their own offerings. The Intercloud approach sees a shift for Cisco, which has long focused on being the infrastructure for public, private, and hybrid clouds, into a more application-centric approach. It’s a shift that Cisco is looking to bring its partners along on, said Bob Gault, vice president of go-to-market for cloud partners at Cisco.

“Our customers want to write native apps to private clouds and public clouds, and we want them to do that,” Gault said. “We’re enabling a new cloud model.”

That model will see vendor and ISV partners make their wares available via a services catalogue, and partners will be able to resell, white-label, or otherwise offer those services into any Intercloud-compliant environment.

“Our partners are in a business transformation to truly deliver hybrid IT, and that means being able to rationalize for customers when to go public and when to go private,” said Cisco channel chief Edison Peres. “We believe it will be a hybrid world we will live in, and our approach allows partners to play different roles and be the true hybrid advisors.”

New partners include:

  • Dimension Data will provide white-labeled hardware- software- and Infrastructure-as-a-Service offerings through partners. Gault said partners will sell the Dimension Data offering under the Cisco bran and will bill for it, while Cisco will provide first-level support, and Dimension Data second- and third-level support.
  • The VMware/Cisco/EMC VCE co-venture will integrate Cisco’s Intercloud fabric into the next generation of its vBlock converged infrastructure offerings, as will NetApp with its FlexPod.
  • Sungard Availability Services was introduced as the first cloud provider to offer a public cloud built on Cisco’s application-centric infrastructure platform, and will offer Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service to both customers and solution providers “wherever they have a footprint” worldwide, Gault said.
  • Industrial controls provider Johnson Controls was introduced as “the preferred global provider of modular data centre solutions for the Cisco cloud,” introducing a series of data centre configurations that include compute, communications, power, cooling, and facilities management capabilities. “They’re helping us deliver data centres in about half the time,” Gault said.
  • Accenture has agreed to license Cisco’s automation for cloud infrastructure, a deal that will see the consultancy giant license the software for their own data centres, sell it as part of their private cloud offerings, and include “intelligent automation” for their public cloud customers. “They’re standardizing with Cisco automation and orchestration,” Gault said.
  • On the customer side, Cisco announced the University of British Columbia will use its EnergyWise cloud energy management platform.

All of the announcements are partners that are expected to go live within the next 90 days, and Gault said Cisco expects to continue to add to the Intercloud with partner and feature announcements on a quarterly or even monthly basis.

“It comes to life when we get more partners and more ISVs working on this platform,” Gault said.

The networking giant also moved Peres, its longtime worldwide channel chief, into the new role of senior vice president of the partner organization for cloud and managed services. While the role is new for Cisco and for Peres, the executive said it will allow him to continue on an area where he has focused much of his efforts over the last two years – the business transformation Cisco business partners are going through.

“The future of Cisco and the future of our partners is dependent on the successful implementation of cloud and managed services, and we have to make sure we bring a partner-centric and differentiated cloud strategy to the market,” Peres said. “We’re driving a different model as we make sure we’re implementing with speed and agility.”

That different model for Cisco will see each individual geography – Canada included – take more responsibility for local implementation, but each region will also report back into worldwide cloud command, headed up by Nick Earle.

“Normally countries are influenced by the worldwide organization, but now it will be straight lines,” Peres said.