Cisco Offers Broad-based Managed Services Program

By Jessica Davis  |  Posted 2007-10-31 Email Print this article Print

The networking giant said the Cisco-branded program for MSPs is aimed at partners of all sizes.

Cisco announced Oct. 31 that it will roll out a Cisco-branded managed service that partners can offer to customers.

The service is designed to help the networking vendor's partners capture more of the managed services market, which the company said is growing at twice the rate of traditional market offerings.

The Cisco Powered Managed Services includes managed Unified Communications, managed connectivity, managed data center, managed security and managed mobility.

These Cisco-powered services make up the top tier of a three tier managed services model offered by Cisco.

"We created a model that rewards partners the most for bringing higher-value services to customers," said Tom Williams, director of the managed services channel program. "As you go up the three-tier pyramid, the rewards are greater."

To offer this top tier of managed services to customers, Cisco partners must be certified by Cisco, undergo an audit of their business processes and network operating centers. The audit looks for industry best practices, many of which are part of ITIL and ISO standards. Cisco said that the certification is being offered to all partners regardless of size and partner classification.

Uncertified partners can still offer the company's other two tiers of managed services. The second tier, Strategic Managed Services, includes Edge Services such as Cisco AT products and Transport Services such as those based on Cisco's IP network. The third tier is made up of legacy managed services that are not based on Cisco AT products, the company said.

Program benefits include discounts geared towards MSP businesses, the company said. Cisco declined to provide specific details about the discounts.

The program also offers predictable pricing for partners, according to Williams, allowing partners to guarantee the same price to customers for three years or more and get the same price from Cisco for that period of time.

"This new program recognizes a shift in customer buying patterns," Williams said. "Our focus is on profitable growth with our channel partners and helping them react to this shift in customer buying patterns."

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at

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