Cisco OnPlus Service: Engaging Managed Services Providers?

Cisco OnPlus Service: Engaging Managed Services Providers?

Cisco Systems, armed with its emerging Cisco OnPlus Service, is quietly making a major push with influential managed services providers. The effort surfaced at last week's IT Nation conference in Orlando, Fla., where Cisco networked up with MSPs that work closely with ConnectWise and HTG Peer Groups. Here's why.

First, some background. The Cisco OnPlus Service is a cloud-based service that allows MSPs to access customers' networks from anywhere to discover, monitor, and manage networked devices, Cisco claims.

I haven't seen an official news announcement about OnPlus. But it was discussed at length at IT Nation. Marc Bresniker, senior product line manager at Cisco, apparently discussed the Cisco OnPlus Service during an IT Nation session.

I don't think Cisco is trying to displace existing remote monitoring and management (RMM) platforms, since most of the OnPlus Service documentation focuses on supported Cisco devices. Also, it sounds like Cisco plans to integrate the OnPlus Service with third-party RMM tools. And sources say an integration with ConnectWise is already in place, though I've yet to confirm that with Cisco and ConnectWise.

Also in Orlando last week, Cisco apparently made some special trial offers to HTG Peer Group members, to get VARs and MSPs in that community up-and-running with Cisco OnPlus Service.

Generally speaking, I believe the Cisco OnPlus Service is designed for VARs and MSPs in the SMB market. The cloud-based tool sounds new, but Cisco has a lengthy history working with MSPs. The networking giant has an established managed services channel program, which helps customers to find MSPs that adhere to ITIL and other industry-standard best practices.



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