Memo From Cisco: MSPs Will Enjoy Early Cloud Computing Advantage

When it comes to cloud computing, successful managed services providers (MSPs) should have a leg up against traditional channel players. That's the consensus among Cisco Systems executives who have helped to build the networking giant's managed services channel program and cloud computing partner program. Moreover, roughly 100 MSPs that work with Cisco will instantly qualify to join the new Cisco Cloud Partner Program. Here's the update, including an MSPmentor FastChat Video interview with Wendy Bahr, senior VP of global and transformational partnership at Cisco.

First, a little background: At Cisco Partner Summit this week in New Orleans, Senior VP and Channel Chief Edison Peres officially unveiled the Cisco Cloud Partner Program. It includes three areas of focus: Cloud Builder, Cloud Services Provider and Cloud Reseller. Aspiring cloud partners can pursue each or all of the designations, according to Surinder Brar, chief strategist for Cisco's worldwide partner organization.

Brar reinforced the close relationship between Cisco's managed services partner program and the cloud partner program. Indeed, Cisco's Advanced and Master MSPs that have an existing cloud service will be grandfathered into the new Cloud Partner Program, Brar said. When the next anniversary of participation comes up, Cisco will audit the MSP to make sure the cloud services offerings remain in compliance. Using that approach, Brar estimates that roughly 100 MSPs will instantly qualify for the Cloud Partner Program.

Meanwhile, Cisco's Bahr says MSPs could have an early advantage in cloud computing, thanks to MSP experience leveraging recurring revenue business models as well as the OPEX (operational expenses) vs. CAPEX (capital expenses) model.  Bahr makes the point while providing some more background on the Cisco Cloud Partner Program in this FastChat Video:

That's all for the moment. Catching a flight home soon. More analysis from Cisco Partner Summit 2011 on Friday.

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