Cisco OnPlus Service: Time for Cisco to Say More
At Cisco Partner Velocity, a marketing conference in Las Vegas, Senior VPs Keith Goodwin, Edison Peres and other executives are focused and on-message when it comes to growth strategies, cloud partner momentum, the VCE relationship, and marketing strategies for channel partners. But when asked about the Cisco OnPlus Service for MSPs, there was a brief but noticeable pause from Goodwin and Peres. For me, that indicates OnPlus may need more executive attention within Cisco. Here’s why.
First, the background: The Cisco OnPlus Service is a cloud-based service that allows MSPs and VARs to remotely monitor networking equipment. OnPlus Service is designed to integrate with a range of PSA (professional services automation) and RMM (remote management and monitoring) platforms. The service is relatively new and focused mainly on the SMB market.
During Cisco Partner Velocity yesterday, Goodwin and Peres offered me and several other channel reporters an update on a range of topics — Cisco’s business evolution, the cloud partner program, marketing strategies, and partner relationships with such companies as VCE and NetApp. For about 59 of the 60 minutes it was a smooth conversation that essentially communicated Cisco’s progress over the past year.
During the cloud portion of the conversation, I asked for an update on Cisco OnPlus Service. That’s where the one minute of awkwardness emerged. While mulling my question about OnPlus, Goodwin and Peres essentially paused, looked at each other, and promised to route me to the right person in Cisco for more information. It was clear Cisco OnPlus was not front of mind for them, at least not during this particular conversation.
In fairness, Cisco OnPlus is more the domain of Andrew Sage, Cisco’s VP of worldwide partner led. Sage is a small business and commercial business expert, and therefore well-positioned to describe where Cisco OnPlus Service is positioned within the broader Cisco strategy. Sage will have a major role at the upcoming Cisco Partner Summit 2012 in April, so it’s a safe bet we’ll get OnPlus updates at that conference.
Still, I sense that the Cisco OnPlus Service is not front of mind — at least not yet — for Cisco’s channel chiefs. In some ways that’s understandable since OnPlus is a new, niche service for VARs and MSPs in the SMB market. OnPlus is not going to generate billions of dollars for Cisco and its partners — so Goodwin and Peres certainly have bigger opportunities to focus on. But on the other hand, you need to evangelize a service even before it becomes popular. So far, Cisco’s top channel chiefs have yet to evangelize OnPlus.