Margaritas in plastic yard glasses, Blackjack and spectacular stage shows were among the attractions when a group of 30 local partners descended on Cisco's Global Partner Summit in Las Vegas.
The annual three-day event saw nearly 2500 channel representatives from around the globe flock to The Venetian Hotel and Casino on the world's most famous gambling strip. As well as serious technical and information sessions, partners were given a taste of Vegas entertainment.
For Aussie partners, this meant ringside seats for Cirque du Soleil's "O'' show at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino. Predictably, chants of "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie" could be heard at a duelling piano bar in the wee hours of the morning.
Cisco capped off the event with a rooftop party on the Venetian's pool deck featuring boot scooters, DJs, and cringeworthy comedy improvisation by the vendor's team members. Partners were also presented with local, regional and global awards. Telstra picked up the ANZ Enterprise Partner of the Year award, while Computer Systems Australia won the SMB gong. Express Data was awarded Asia-Pacific Distributor of the Year. Its Cisco division manager, James Mackay, said it had been heavily involved with Cisco at a corporate level on a number of significant projects. "It is great to receive this type of recognition for all the hard work," he said.
Telstra also scored a regional award as Service Provider of the Year; IBM Australia was named Technology Excellence Partner of the Year alongside two regional players.
Getronics received a global Technology Excellence Award based on its Australian performance. Managing director, Paul Timmins, attributed the win to its emerging technologies focus and strategic alignment with Cisco. He claimed it was the vendor's highest growing systems integrator, with 183 per cent growth and an attach rate of 38.2 per cent in the 12 months to July 2006.
"Winning this global award just reinforces the partnership and certainly confirms how successful it has been in developing amazing growth rates over the last two years," he said.