Cisco Puts Spotlight on Managed Services Partners

Cisco Puts Spotlight on Managed Services Partners

Give Cisco Systems credit. Most of the noise at Cisco Partner Summit involved cloud computing. But the networking giant also put a bright spotlight on managed services providers (MSPs). A case in point: ShoreGroup Inc. was named Cisco's partner of the year for managed service solutions for the Eastern, U.S., region. Cisco also pointed out numerous synergies between managed services and cloud computing.

ShoreGroup promotes ShorePatrol, a remote management service for Unified Communications monitoring, maintenance and support. The company also is a Cisco Gold Certified and Managed Services Master Channel Partner, which means ShoreGroup will instantly qualify for the new Cisco Cloud Partner Program.

ShoreGroup is based near my home town in New York, so I'll try to swing by their offices in the weeks ahead to get more details about their business. In the meantime, I've reached out to Cisco for deeper details about other MSPs that earned the spotlight at Cisco Partner Summit.

No doubt, cloud computing dominated the early discussion at Cisco Partner Summit in New Orleans this week. There was also plenty of talk about Cisco CEO John Chambers' decision to name Cisco chief operating officer. By Day 2 of the conference, much of the conversation shifted to Cisco's SMB efforts -- including two new unified communications solutions for small businesses (2 to 24 users) and mid-size customers (up to 300 users across 10 locations). The SMB effort also includes a zero percent financing offer.

But ultimately, the big theme I kept hearing at Cisco Partner Summit involved synergies between managed services and cloud services, as explained by Cisco Senior VP Wendy Bahr in an MSPmentor FastChat Video. Roughly 100 Cisco-certified MSPs will instantly qualify for the new Cisco Cloud Partner Program, according to Surinder Brar, chief strategist for Cisco’s worldwide partner organization.

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