Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Cisco FY19 Scotland Partner Forum: teamwork is the key to success

April 4, 2019

Punam Sian

Punam Sian from our partner marketing team recounts last week’s highly successful Scotland Partner Forum, which combined education and collaboration with celebration – plus an opportunity to give a helping hand to people in need.

A welcome return

After an absence of four years, the Cisco Scotland Partner Forum came home on Wednesday 27th March.

I was thrilled to be part of this celebration of the great work achieved by our partners north of the border, which was also the perfect opportunity to bring them up to speed with all our latest activities and developments, from technical innovations to branding.

And having been a Cisco Partner Marketing Manager for seven months now, this seemed like the perfect way to celebrate!

A day well spent

During what was a very busy but hugely enjoyable day at the Dunblane Hydro Hotel, the forum covered a wide range of activities and topics, from our Security, to our Software Defined approach for Access and WAN, and the Cat 9K family.

A busy and enjoyable forum

There were also updates on our latest brand and marketing activities, various breakout sessions, plus a demonstration and innovation Hub, which we hosted alongside several of our ecosystem partners.

With the spotlight on strategic growth and positive change, the partner community was given an insight on how we plan to strengthen our partnership within Scotland and continue the success of the past year.

Members of our UKI leadership team were also there on the day – including Partner Lead Angela Whitty, demonstrating how highly we value the partners who work with us in Scotland.

Celebrating joint success

We rounded off the forum with a partner awards ceremony, where the winners were announced by our Country Manager for Scotland, Tony Gribben; a great way to celebrate everything our partners do for us, in a relaxing and enjoyable setting.

United in delivering excellence – the Scotland team

Scotland Partner of the Year was Capita IT and Networks, with other winners including BT, Virgin Media Business, Ping Network Solutions, DataVita, PCM Technology Solutions UK, and Hutchinson Networks. Ian Wearing of Virgin Media Business was named Technical Individual of the Year and a special recognition went out to Kevin Donaghy of Ingram Micro.

The contribution all our partners make is of vital importance to us, and although we couldn’t give awards to everyone, since starting at Cisco, I’ve seen how all our partners help us be the success we are.

Partnership working to help those less fortunate

Amidst the business successes and celebrations, we were however, also mindful of Cisco’s global commitment to improving a billion lives around the world by 2025.

The UK and Ireland plays a vital role in helping make this happen. Many of our caring, generous employees use their Cisco Time2Give days – and their own time – going out into the local community, supporting less fortunate groups and individuals, and taking part in fundraising events.

So, we were delighted that Crisis UK, which works to end homelessness, could join us for the forum. We heard first-hand the heart-wrenching story of Mandy, whose tragic circumstances lead to homelessness – and her inspirational battle to overcome the odds stacked against her. With the support of Crisis UK, Mandy has managed to get her life back on track and is now an advocate for the charity. I don’t think there was a single person in the room who wasn’t affected by her story, which received a standing ovation. We are so proud to be working with a charitable organisation that has such a positive impact on people’s lives.

To show our support, a silent auction was run throughout the day, with a varied array of prizes up for grabs, donated by very generous people. The live bidding commenced during the evening dinner and a frantic bidding war soon ensued which raised a considerable amount towards Crisis UK.

All together now – final word

It was brilliant to see so many companies come together to learn, collaborate and celebrate. In my short time at Cisco, I’ve seen how each and every one of our partners, however big or small, contribute to our success. I hope they all enjoyed the event as much as we did, and that it demonstrated our appreciation of their efforts.

And even as I recover from this year’s event, I can’t wait for the next Scotland Partner Forum!

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