Italtel, which specializes in IP networks, is expected to launch a Cisco-centric managed services strategy on June 22 and 23. Italtel already offers Cisco Managed Services in a Box across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Now Italtel wants to extend that "in-a-box" MSP strategy into North America. And yes, the effort will involve managed services partners. Here are some early details.
According to a prepared statement:
"Italtel is already deploying the 'Cisco Managed Office in a Box' solution, which includes connectivity, conferencing and collaboration tools, security, and a virtual private network (VPN), to key service providers in EMEA. The solution will allow companies of all size throughout the North African region to access highly secure site-to-site Internet-based communications; collaborate more effectively to offer better services to their customers; share ideas and intelligence and save costs."Translation: It sounds like Italtel plans to offer its Cisco Managed Office in a Box to MSPs and VARs across North America. We'll know for sure when Italtel makes its official announcements on June 22 and 23.
In the meantime one thing is clear: Cisco's MSP partner program continues to gain momentum. Cisco overhauled the program in mid-2009 to ensure MSPs could leverage NOCs (network operation centers) from peer MSPs. Since that time, we've heard from dozens of MSPs that have become certified on Cisco managed services. Moreover, Cisco has started to promote managed cloud services with big North American service providers such as Verizon Business.
The big questions: Will small Cisco MSPs continue to work on their own or will they partner up with larger companies like Italtel? We'll search for more answers once Italtel makes their Cisco-centric announcements later this month.
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