Jonathan Barouch is buzzing. His company, Sydney-based social media monoitoring software developer Local Measure, has just received a big boost as they promote their product on the Cisco Live convention floor in Las Vegas.
As the huge conference kicked off, Cisco senior vice president and general manager of Internet of Things (IoT) applications, Rowan Trollope, tweeted a link to one of the company's case study vidoes with the note...
Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins in turn retweeted Trollope's message with: "Our @CiscoPartners are such a strategic part of our success with customers!"
Local Measure was one of a dozen companies, including Telstra, exhibiting in Cisco's "Collaboration Village" across sprawling convention and exhibition floor at Mandalay Bay.
"In the past, Cisco might never have partnered with a company like us," Barouch said. "Gorillas dance with gorillas, but over the last 12 months we've seen open APIs, they are building a developer ecosystem. The fact that Chuck tweets about an Australian partner is pretty cool."
Barouch has been paying attention to the stream of annoucements flowing from Cisco this week and building on the company's recent announcement of a new management technology that makes the network programmable and much easier to manage from a central console dubbed DNA Centre.
The "intent-based" system allows users to express policies the software platform executes and maintains the dynamically, easing administration workloads at a time when the number of connected devices is forecast to skyrocket due to internet of things developments.
It also improves security through allowing micro-segmentation that can stop intruder from moving laterally through the network.
Barouch said at the heart of the changes is the fact that while Cisco will build the hardware and the core software that operates networks and supports its collaboration portfolio, partners bring a lot to the table.
"Cisco will do a part of it and partners will do a part of it as well," he said. "It's what differentiates Cisco from a lot of their competitors, that they have that ecosystem to build solutions that are industry specific or very targeted.
"I think it's cool to see them go further down the stack towards earlier stage technology companies as well."
Local Measure's software, for instance, integrates with Cisco's collaboration platform Spark to provide a tool for marketers to find social media content related to their companies and close the loop on service to customers by integrating that with existing workflows.
"It's been cool for us because it's a really nice entry into Cisco and it resonates with our clients. Many times they are leading with our capabilities and it just happens it runs on Spark or Maraki, but the business solution comes first."
Barouch poiunts out that Trollope's keynote at Cisco Live was all about getting close to the customer - getting to "zero distance".
"That doesn't sound like a traditional hardware company. That sounds like a software company."
It also changes the conversation from one of price to one of capabilities.
"You add some of the partners on top of the core and it gets pretty interesting," he said.
Another benefit for Cisco, Barouch said, is that their relationships are predominantly with CIOs, CTOs and the like. However, Local Measure speaks to heads of marketing and CEOs, so it becomes a digital transformation discussion.