Cisco Partner Summit 2011: Why MSPs Are Tuning In

As Cisco Partner Summit 2011 opens in New Orleans, most of the early chatter involves a new Cisco Cloud Partner Program that was announced 15 minutes ago. But if you listen closely enough to Senior VP Keith Goodwin (pictured), Channel Chief Edison Peres and other Cisco channel leaders, you'll find continued momentum for Cisco's managed services partner initiatives.

It has been roughly 16 months since Cisco overhauled its channel partner program to better serve MSPs. The key change: Cisco now allows MSPs to leverage each others' certified NOCs (network operations centers). Cisco Channel Chief Edison Peres (pictured, left) says Cisco's managed services partner efforts are growing twice as fast as Cisco's CPE efforts (I believe CPE stands for either customer premise equipment or carrier premise equipment; double checking).

True believers in Cisco's managed services channel efforts include Long View Systems and HEIT, two well-known MSPmentor 100 companies. In a recent MSPmentor FastChat video, Long View described how it sees managed services and cloud services as a powerful one-two punch for customers:

But how will Cisco coordinate its managed services and cloud services partner programs? I'll be searching for answers over the next few days, coordinating coverage across each of our web sites -- MSPmentor, The VAR Guy and TalkinCloud.

Time to run. CEO John Chambers is taking the stage now. And he's predicting the global economy will be stronger than most pundits predict. More details soon.

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