Cisco Partner Summit - Canadian Highlights

I wanted to do a separate post about the Canadian angle of Cisco's Partner Summit. Yesterday, one of the sessions was just for and with the Canadian participants - Cisco Canada, some key channel partners and the analysts/press corps.

One of the key items from this session was the fact that 100% of the Canadian business goes through channels. It's about 80% in the U.S., so channel partners are even more important in Canada.

Another important point is that SMB is more prominent in Canada than the U.S., making Cisco's focus on this segment particularly relevant. Canada has a higher concentration of large enterprises, and a lower incidence of large companies with nation-wide office locations. Conversely, Canada has a higher proportion of businesses that are either small or medium - especially small. Some 90% of all businesses in Canada have under 5 employees, so up here, small is really small.

Later on, there was an awards event to recognize the leading channel partners in Canada. Titled the 2006 Channel Partner Awards, 11 companies were recogized, and really showcased the variety of business environments that Cisco Canada is serving. It's especially interesting to note the presence of major service providers in this mix, including cable - Bell, Telus, Rogers and Sasktel.

The press release isn't posted yet, but here's an excerpt listing out the winners:

o Top Advanced Technology Partner: Longview Systems
o Top Security Partner: Rogers Communications Inc.
o Top Wireless Partner: HP Canada
o Top Innovation Partner: SaskTel
o Top Foundation Partner: Compugen Inc.
o Top Enterprise Partner: IBM Canada Ltd.
o Top Public Sector Partner: Bell Canada
o Top Commercial Partner: TELUS
o Top Services Partner: UNIS LUMIN Inc.
o Top Customer Satisfaction: CCSI Technology Solutions Corp. (CCSI)
o Top Unified Communications Partner: IBM Canada Ltd.

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