Cisco combines two cloud channel programs into one

Cisco Systems has merged two programs into one after the networking company saw the market shifting towards more cloud-based services.

Starting today Cisco’s Managed Services Channel Program will be combined with its Cloud Provider and Cloud Services Reseller plans to create the Cloud and Managed Services Program (CMSP).

According to Cisco, since 2007, the overall use of managed/hosted has steadily increased from 27 per cent of companies utilizing at least some outsourcing to 87 per cent in 2011. And, Cisco citing an IDC report said that cloud will be nearly 30 per cent of all IT by 2020.

Ricardo Moreno, senior director of Cisco Channels Programs and Strategy, told CDN that Cisco channel partners are no longer skeptical about the cloud as they were in year’s past.

“We are going to stick with our strategy and go to market through channel partners on cloud. They will be our base and its paying off,” he said.

Moreno added that channel partners make Cisco products richer and they are able to address business problems. “Channel partners are building clouds for end users that integrate. Partners can sell cloud utilization in a pay-as-you-go model and are able to adjust quicker to market needs,” he said.

By merging these programs into CMSP, the company is trying to develop a program where the channel can differentiate itself.

Channel partners in the program will start to receive VIP rebates along with a marketing delineation “Cisco Powered Cloud Service.” CMSP partners are eligible for additional Cisco incentive programs including Opportunity Incentive Program (OIP), Teaming Incentive Program (TIP), Solution Incentive Program (SIP), and Technology Migration Program (TMP).

“The idea here is the before the program had its own rebate mechanism and now partners can use the VIP. The opportunity in cloud is huge for partners and we believe they are well positioned to capture that and making more money. They can now maximize it better as VIP pays much more than the previous rebate,” Moreno said.

The CMSP program will also further compliment the recently introduced Cloud Builder Specialization plan.

Cisco has also created a cloud channel portal for CMSP where solution provides can do more partner-to-partner collaboration. Inside the portal will be cloud proposals and virtual sales training. Channel partners need to be CMSP certified to join and Moreno expects a high adoption of partners joining. There are just over 250 channel partners who can take advantage of CMSP. About 25 solution providers piloted the portal and are developed microsite. Moreno said that Bell, Allstream, Long View Systems and Telus are part of the CMSP currently.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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