Twins: Cisco Managed Services and Cloud Partner Programs

When Cisco Systems launched the Cisco Cloud Partner Program earlier today, I had a case of deja vu. Portions of the new cloud partner program, announced at Cisco Partner Summit 2011, look similar to Cisco's established managed services channel partner program. That's not a coincidence, said Cisco VP Ralph Nimergood. To further the point, Cisco invited three established MSPs (managed services providers) and VARs to describe how they are extending their businesses for cloud services.

The panel discussion, which concluded a few minutes ago, included:

  • Vince Conroy, CTO of FusionStorm
  • Adrian Foxall, director, Computacenter
  • Harry Zarek, president and CEO of Compugen
When asked about the expansion from managed services to cloud service, FusionStorm's Conroy said: "It's a natural progression because we may be doing remote managed services for a customer, and then that customer wants to shift to a hosted cloud model. We've had a number of customers ask for that."

Conroy is a familiar name to loyal MSPmentor readers. He participated in a FastChat video a few weeks ago, describing how FusionStorm sees managed services and cloud computing evolving together:

Managed Services and Cloud Computing: It's Deja Vu

For the cloud partner program, Cisco is "leveraging a lot of the audit and infrastructure approaches from the managed services channel partner program," said Cisco VP Ralph Nimergood. Also, Nimergood added, the managed services partner program continues to grow and flourish, especially as more customers seek out partners for remote monitoring and managed virtualization services.

The three channel partners -- FusionStorm, Computacenter and Compugen -- said the new cloud partner program will allow them to align, validate and enable with Cisco field representatives who are compensated to drive cloud partners.

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