Cisco Creates MSP Channel Program

Cisco Systems Inc. on Wednesday launched the Cisco Managed Services Channel Program, which it called one of the first channel programs for MSPs.

"[The program] is the industry's first global managed services channel program designed to incentivize partners to deliver a wide spectrum of managed services," the company said in a statement.

The announcement's headline was less equivocal, calling the program "the IT industry's first global managed services channel program."

Whether or not it breaks new ground in the industry, Cisco positions the program as an evolution of the Cisco Channel Partner Program. Cisco calls the Cisco Managed Services Channel Program its first "offer-based" channel strategy. "Cisco is creating channel programs that align to the three distinct offer types in the market today -- resale, outsourcing and managed services," the company statement read.

The Cisco Managed Services Channel Partner Program is aimed at regional channel partners, service providers and systems integrators. There are three tiers. The premium tier is Cisco Powered Managed Service, which is split into designations for Connectivity, Unified Communications, Security, Mobility and Data Center Services. The other two tiers are Strategic Managed Service and Legacy Managed Service.

To join the program, partners must demonstrate to Cisco that they have the capabilities to deliver high-quality managed services and must offer customers service-level agreements with a minimum term of one year. Benefits of the program includes financial rewards for certain services, joint marketing opportunities and joint branding opportunities.

Program members at launch include AT&T, CDW Berbee, Bell Canada, BT, Calence, Dimension Data, Getronics, NetStar, Sprint, TELUS, Verizon Business and VSNL, a member of the Tata Group.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.