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Huh. CDW is now a Cisco TelePresence partner?

This development is bound to irk some technology solution providers that have spent oodles of money over the past several years building out practices to deploy Cisco TelePresence solutions. CDW has announced this week that it is now a TelePresence Video Master Authorized Technology Provider. Which means it can pretty much install any TelePresence solution. Anywhere.

The Master status signifies that CDW has ponied up the training money and personnel to develop skills in the advanced collaboration technologies that come as part of TelePresence solutions. It is qualified to sell everything from the single-screen units up into custom TelePresence suites.

This is great news for Cisco, which gains an incredibly high-profile partner in one of its most important emerging technologies areas.

But I have to wonder about the other leading-edge technology solution providers that have helped Cisco build up word-of-mouth and credibility for TelePresence solutions, pioneering the company’s success in this category. Does this move signify that the company will open up the TelePresence technologies into the broader Cisco channel program (instead of “just” the emerging technologies track) sooner rather than later.

The development should stoke the flames of the age-old VAR versus CDW competitive rivalry. Still, it is a sign that video collaboration solutions are becoming more mainstream.

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