Cisco Attracts More Certified Managed Services Providers
Same story, different month. Long View Systems, ranked near the top of our 2010 MSPmentor 100 research, is the latest managed services provider to earn Cisco’s Managed Services Master Certification. Before mid-2009, Cisco seemed to be doing everything wrong in the managed services market. But by October 2009 or so, Cisco seemed to have turned the corner with MSPs — with new partners signing on each month. Why’s that? Here’s the story.
First, today’s news: Long View Systems is one of Canada’s top solutions providers. In addition to being a Cisco Gold Partner, the company has been focused on SAS 70 and PCI certifications. SAS 70 is a popular auditing standard developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. And the PCI (Payment Card Industry) audit examines security policies and procedures. Generally speaking, successful SAS 70 and PCI audits can give end-customers peace of mind that Long View’s IT systems will properly protect customer information.
Long View has also become a Cisco certified MSP, which seems to be a growing trend in the managed services market. For several years, Cisco’s MSP partner program struggled. One reason: Cisco required certified partners to have their own dedicated NOCs. But Cisco overhauled its Managed Services Partner Program in October 2009 or so, allowing MSPs to leverage NOCs from other certified Cisco partners.
Since that time, a lengthy list of Cisco partners have joined the MSP program. True believes included Long View and HEIT, an MSP that focuses on the financial services vertical.
We’re watching closely to see if additi0nal networking companies — such as Juniper or HP’s ProCurve division — make aggressive moves to engage MSPs as channel partners. So far, Juniper seems to be focused on the higher-end service provider market and HP seems intent on traditional VAR relationships.