Cisco Unveils Managed Services Strategy

I hope you don't mind if I brag for a few paragraphs. Back in September, I predicted Cisco would soon unveil a managed services strategy that included new pricing models for partners. The official announcement came today, in the form of the new Cisco Managed Services Channel Program.

The program currently includes AT&T, CDW Berbee, Bell Canada, BT, Calence, Dimension Data, Getronics, NetStar, Sprint, TELUS, Verizon Business and VSNL. The program includes three managed service program levels, Cisco Powered Managed Service, Strategic Managed Service, and Legacy Managed Service. The premium Cisco Powered Managed Service level currently includes designations for Connectivity, Unified Communications, Security, Mobility and Data Center Services. The program's entry criterion is based on the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework of best practices.

By the way, I've stated multiple times that ITIL will grow in importance for MSPs. If you're not familiar with ITIL, it's time to get up to speed on the standard.

When I first heard about Cisco's managed services strategy back in September, I wondered if the company planned to launch an MSP platform to compete with Autotask, Kaseya, Level Platforms, N-able and other business process automation companies. However, Cisco insiders repeatedly told me the company did not plan to move into the MSP platform market. Rather, Cisco's goal is to ensure its product pricing and support models reflect the needs of MSPs.

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