Cisco's New Managed Services Partner Program Launches September 1

Cisco Systems' overhauled managed services partner program is set to launch September 1. I expect to have a deeper briefing with Cisco within the next 24 hours or so. But in the meantime, here are some initial perspectives on Cisco's MSP partner strategy.

During the Cisco Partner Summit in June 2009, the networking giant disclosed plans to revamp its MSP partner program. Surinder Brar, senior director of marketing for Cisco’s worldwide channels, discusses the changes in this video, shot at the Cisco Partner Summit.

The big change: Certified Cisco MSPs would no longer need to have their own NOCs (network operation centers). Instead, the Cisco managed services partners could leverage NOCs from other Cisco certified partners. Translation: The original NOC requirement was a major hurdle that blocked many MSPs from becoming certified Cisco managed services partners.

MSPs seem to be embracing the Cisco changes quickly. HEIT, an MSPmentor 100 company, is serving as a Master MSP to a range of Cisco partners. I expect the trend to accelerate since many Cisco partners don’t have the time or money to build their own NOCs (network operation centers).

Stay tuned. More details about Cisco's new partner-to-partner "white label" efforts for MSPs will likely surface September 1.

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