Cisco: Cloud and Managed Services Partner Programs Converge

Cisco: Cloud and Managed Services Partner Programs Converge

Cisco is simplifying its cloud channel programs by taking the two existing ones and combining them into a single program the networking giant has dubbed the Cloud and Managed Services Program.

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) is making further efforts to simplify its partner programs. It's latest effort: The company has merged its Managed Services Channel Program and its Cloud Provider and Cloud Services Reseller designations into a new program, the Cloud and Managed Services Program (CMSP).

This change comes only months after the launch of Cisco's Master Cloud Builder Specialization, solidifying the company's cloud builder designation in its partner program. Now Cisco is taking feedback from its partners, as well as addressing changes in the market dynamics, to create a single, unified channel partner program that brings together its cloud and managed services partners under one overall program.

The new program will make things simpler for partners, but Arjun Lahiri, Cisco's senior manager for Worldwide Channels, told Talkin' Cloud that the new program also represents the company's go-to-market strategy for cloud and managed services.

"When you think about partner programs, you think about product access, you think about product rights. CMSP is more than a partner program. It's the go-to-market strategy," Lahiri said.

CMSP was designed to recognize and reward partners for their expertise and investments in selling and delivering cloud and managed services. Like other partner programs, CMSP provides partners with financial incentives, go-to-market benefits and branding in the hopes of accelerating their time to market and revenue.

Lahiri noted that the new program allows partners to find and expand their revenue streams to build customer loyalty and differentiate their businesses from competitors. Global discounts will be available, and partners will be able to maximize their profitability using Cisco's various incentive programs, including VIP, TIP, SIP, OIP and TMP -- depending on the product and how Cisco partners decide to capitalize on the growing cloud and managed services opportunities available to them.

"Partners realize they are going to go through a transition," Lahiri said, and they've asked Cisco to help them by providing enough support as they change.

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