By Andrew Seymour
Cisco hosts 2,000 partners in Riyadh for largest ever Saudi Arabia partner event
Cisco's sprawling partner community in Saudi Arabia has no excuse for being unprepared for serving up the latest networking solutions after receiving an update on the trends and technologies shaping the market at the vendor's annual ‘CiscoExpo' show.
More than 2,000 participants attended yesterday's Riyadh-based conference and exhibition, the largest gathering of partners that Cisco has ever recorded in Saudi Arabia for an event that is now in its sixth year.
Cisco resellers and technology partners heard Massimo Migliuolo, VP service providers for emerging markets at Cisco, map out the future direction of the SP market in the wake of growing managed services demand, while senior executives from first-tier partners such as Saudi Business Machines and Dimension Data briefed listeners on topics impacting the networking channel.
A series of breakout sessions covering issues such as unified communications, data centre architecture strategy and next generation wireless LAN technology ensured technical engineers topped up their skills, as well as giving participants the inside track on how to deploy Cisco technologies.
Key Cisco partners were also given a pedestal to demonstrate their wares. Al Jammaz Distribution and Logicom Saudi Arabia - which recently picked up Linksys rights for the Kingdom - gave the show some distribution flavour, while the likes of Oger, Ebttikar and Emircom ensured Cisco's full spectrum of partners was well represented. Authorised training firm Synergy Professional Services also turned out in force, detailing its second-half calendar of networking courses scheduled for Riyadh, as well as Dubai and Cairo.
Dr Badr Al Badr, managing director at Cisco Saudi Arabia, which now employs 250 people, believes the Expo is an ideal platform for the vendor to keep its allies abreast of developments. "They get to see the latest solutions from our partners, the latest solutions that Cisco has to offer, and they also learn from best practices that are shared in the sessions," he said. "Finally, it is an opportunity for the engineers to get updated on the latest technical information, and I don't want to undermine the networking opportunity that allows customers, partners and Cisco to come together for mutual projects."