Hello friends and colleagues,
It was truly a fantastic week in Cancun, for the 2019 Cisco Live Latin America event. As always, the event was held at Moon Palace Resort, which is actually part of the resort which also includes the Nizuc Resort. I hear there was over 7,000 attendees, most of which we talked to. Well most of them anyway.
Quite honestly, this year made our 2018 inaugural event look like child’s play. With plenty of time to be ready, our show strategy came out perfectly. We orchestrated the plan for our partners to have a two-stage approach between our Whisper Suite upstairs and our double-wide booth on the show floor.
I’ll go more into more details later.
This journey started over four years ago. I asked my team, and pretty much anyone around me why our product portfolio wasn’t included in these incredible events. There were a myriad of responses and answers that I received, none made any sense to me.
Fast forward to 2018, and I was standing in the booth I paid for, and Brian and I had truly an amazing experience. We, as Product Managers (product owners and evangelists), brought a perspective to the event floor that I truly believed was different than the status quo.
The response from attendees that year was incredible. People’s comments included, “how long have these products been in the Cisco Portfolio?”, “How do these differ from ……), to “how do I get these?”
That’s so 2018…
Fast forward to this year, a few weeks before the show. Our Whisper Suite was already 75% booked with appointments with our special Service Provider, Distribution, Managed Services and the rest of our partners that got a chance to sit down with our Theatre Sales Teams. (Whisper Suites are private meeting rooms setup in a different floor away from the busy’ loud showroom floors. Here you could have a nice private conversation).
Each presentation had executive presence with Carlos Torales and Marco Sena. Evaldo de Olivera (and Marco) with our Service Provider teams and Ignacio Castroverde leading the charge with our Channel Partners. It was awesome to see.
I had a plan.
The plan was to bring a partner with me to Cancun. One of our biggest pushes for our team, and Cisco, is our Cisco Business Network Management platform. This is key in making a big push in the SMB market.
FindIT Network Monitoring and Management Platform is a purpose-built platform to remotely monitor and manage IT Network environments. This enables in-house IT Teams, Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) and Service Providers to do more efficiently manage their in-house networks, MSP to manage their client’s business network, and for Service Providers to to provide the network for their customer-base at scale.
This was the key. There is a difference of myself pitching the idea of something versus someone (in this case, an MSP) who had taken the plunge, the investment and went for it. I knew this difference in point-of-view would be critical.
Cascade Tech USA’s Cramer Snuggs was just about besides himself when he arrived in Cancun last Monday. I think we both knew there was a ton of opportunity to raise the expectation of doing these events with a new approach. I was excited to see how this was going to turnout.
It worked. I can say with confidence that the show well-exceeded expectations. Cramer, along with Brandon and Jorge (2nd time in a row) did a fantastic job this year and I believe all three would tell you that next year promises to be even better! Folks watching and hearing from someone that took this “plunge” and how it transformed his business by using Cisco Business vs Ubiquiti was truly amazing. For more about this transformation see our Partner Success Story.
Back to our show strategy: after each Whisper Suite engagement/appointment, the group would make it’s way from our Cisco Business Whisper Suite down to our booth. 90% of the time we knew they were coming, so we knew to be ready. What we were not prepared was the amount of walk-by traffic and interest we received. Many knew of the portfolio (compared to even last year), some did not. We had many of comments as usual: “What’s the difference between this and …….,” and “why are your products over here?”
Once the folks were settled in at our booth, I would explain that this is not my demo environment, this was actually Cascade Tech USA’s client FindIT Instance. Yes, real client network environments, not a lab environment.
Let me tell you my blog readers, this made all of the difference in the world. Our Service Provider partners were excited to see this real world instance of FindIT. Since we have several SP’s coming on board and starting pilot’s, it was great for some to see this actually implemented. Managed Service Provider’s were very happy to meet someone that had taken the “plunge.”
As expected, we fielded a ton of questions. I think Cramer and I may have been stumped a few times on occasion on some of the questions that were posed to us.
All in all, it was a great strategy, it was a good idea that just worked. Let’s see what I cook up next year.
Another big advantage of planning a year in advance in getting two Theatre Session where we got the opportunity to be on stage in the World of Solutions. We had 20 minutes to tell our story. Again the strategy was to give the attendees enough information to entice them to our booth a short 20 meters away.
The first session was Tuesday with Pedro Saurez. Pedro presented the new overall Cisco Small Business Portfolio that consists of our portfolio, Meraki and the low-end Catalyst, ISR and Aeronet lines. Pedro covered our portfolio and FindIT Network Management, which was met with tremendous response from the crowd. I could not be happier with this response.
The second on Wednesday had Cramer and Jorge do a live demo of Cascade Tech USA’s FindIT Network Management platform. Cramer drove the demo, while Jorge spoke to the business outcomes possible. Overall, this sessi0n went extremely well, especially when Cramer took the microphone and spoke to his experiences adopting and standardizing on our portfolio for his clients. This provided a ton of relatable feedback for the audience.
Both sessions drove dozens of folks to our booth for detailed discussions. At the end of each day, we were all tired, and almost talked-out!
I have to take some time to thank a some individuals that we could not have had the success without their contributions and in many cases, the heavy, heavy loading. The year-long work began with Carla Lambertini. We worked out every detail for the show. This planning team was invaluable this ensure the show went smooth, which is exactly what occurred. This year’s success could not have happened without Carla. Gracias Carla!
Walter Kusmaul managed the entire booth design. I could not have been happier with how it came out. What do you think of the design and layout? Odette Latapi has a big job. She manages the entire event, yet she made the time to answer my questions and helped me ensure that everything went very well. And it did. You rock Odette and Walter!
Pedro, Evaldo and Nacho scheduled multiple Whisper Suite appointments as well as some unscheduled appointments. The amount of traffic generated is unimaginable. Next year, this has to be a focal point for engagements.
Carlos Torales and Marco Sena provided Executive Sales Leadership support for me and Cisco Live since day one. It didn’t work in 2017, but the success seen in 2018 and 2019, shows the rest of the company that we do belong at Cisco Live. And for every Cisco Live beginning in Barcelona, will have our portfolio present. I thank you both for the support and unbelievable partnership. Here’s to 2020!
To all of those who helped us be there, proudly show off our portfolio and FindIT, and for your camaraderie, thank you. Finally, Jorge, Brandon and Cramer, thank you!
From our team to yours, thank you for hanging out with us!
Marc and Team
For more pictures, see https://www.instagram.com/ciscobusiness/
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