June 22, 2021
Michelle Ragusa-McBain is returning to Cisco to help the vendor expand its MSP strategy.
Ragusa-McBain, who worked at Cisco for a decade, is embarking on a second stint as global lead and channel evangelist for MSP and XaaS. Ragusa-McBain is moving on from JS Group, where she worked as vice president of global channel and digital strategy for the last two years.
JS Group’s Michelle Ragusa-McBain
Ragusa-McBain started her new job on Tuesday. She expressed her excitement to fill the newly created role in an interview with Channel Futures. Although she said Cisco has already operated in an as-a-service fashion in some respects, the company is doubling down on that business model, alongside many of its industry peers. Ragusa-McBain said the pandemic helped accelerate the importance of managed services and the partners that provide them.
She worked at the vendor from 2005 to 2017, where she won Cisco’s WW Innovation and Growth Award. Her first tenure gave her experience working with distributors (Ingram Micro), telcos (Qwest) and the public sector.
Longtime channel veteran Janet Schijns began mentoring Ragusa-McBain while the former worked at Verizon and the latter worked at Cisco. Then the two joined each other at Office Depot, where they worked to serve MSP partners. Ragusa-McBain went on to join Schijns at Schijns’ consultancy JS Group in 2019.
Here’s our list of channel people on the move in May.
Both Office Depot and JS Group put her in direct contact with MSPs. She called it a “second MBA” of sorts, in which she dedicated her time to learning what makes MSPs tick (she completed her first at Manhattan College in 2019).
“I got to firsthand hear from the MSPs about what is important to them and what they need to be successful,” she told Channel Futures. “And now in this role, I have this unique opportunity to marry my past experience with Cisco and my very deep understanding of the MSP space and position the two worlds together in a unique way.”
And what do MSPs need?
For one, they need simplified solutions. Ragusa-McBain said Cisco is currently consolidating 166 partner tools into one. In addition, she said MSPs need vendors to listen to them and learn about their business model, rather than expecting growth without getting to know them.
Friends Old and New
Janet Schijns praised her mentee and friend and said that they plan to still collaborate.
JS Group’s Janet Schijns
“She is a gifted social selling expert, channel champion and friend to the channel at large. Her new role at Cisco, as the world opens back up, will build on the experiences and results she delivered in her two previous roles and allow her to apply that to the challenges and opportunities Cisco faces in the MSP space,” Schijns said in an email to Channel Futures. “She brings what she learned and co-developed at JS Group helping to grow partners via our #digitalnormal social selling program, back to Cisco as a Cisco alum to help them grow MSP awareness and their overall MSP relationships in the Cisco ecosystem.”
Ragusa-McBain announced the news in a LinkedIn video post Tuesday. She said she looks forward to reuniting with former coworkers as well as expanding her horizons.
“I am so thrilled to work with many of my old and new friends. I have made many relationships that I really cherish in the MSP space, and I have always been dedicated to helping them succeed. Now as I wear my Cisco badge, that mission doesn’t change. I’m there to help them and Cisco have mutual success.”
🎉EXCITED TO MAKE ANNNOUNCEMENT
Check out the video 🎥 below to hear about what my NEW role will be….
— MichelleRagusaMcBain (@MichelleRagusa) June 22, 2021
Ragusa-McBain earlier this month moderated a panel during the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for Business Success workshop, which featured high-level speakers from CompTia, Cisco and AWS. You can access the workshop on-demand.
She also has served as the chair of CompTia’s Advancing Women in Technology Community.
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