Thank goodness as we look at the opportunities for ourselves and our service provider partners — where we need to invest — the question is not as difficult to answer! We are going through such an exciting time in the industry. The consolidation that has and continues to occur is driving all of us to work smarter and approach things in new and evolutionary ways. Our Service Provider partners are investing to provide yet another wave of industry impacting services and like no time in the past we are well positioned to partner with them to mutually grow. A key element of our strategy this year and a big bet for us is Managed Services.Last week in our Executive Briefing Center in San Jose I had the opportunity to have an in depth conversation with one of our customers, an Emerging Service Provider. As I prepared for the meeting, I considered their rapidly changing environment yet the abundant opportunities. During the meeting I listened to them outline their challenges and looked for opportunities for us to partner and accelerate their business. Unlike the incumbents, the Emerging Providers face additional limited resource challenges and tend to focus more on the quality of service (QoS), rather than the breadth of offerings. But all Service Providers, regardless of their size, want to accelerate the deployment of innovative services while reducing the cost of these deployments, increase revenue and subscriber retention, improve the return on capital expenditures, provide differentiated offerings, and ultimately improve the customer experience. Regardless of their size, they all search for new ways to monetize opportunities and increase wallet share.Although”managed services” describes a wide variety of services, essentially a managed service exists when a partner such as AT&T, Verizon, or an emerging partner such as Savvis, provide a finished solution which allows the end customer to focus on their core business. As IT and communication organizations are forced to do more with fewer resources, managed services are increasingly attractive to enterprises and empower them to focus on cost control and new market opportunities for revenue growth as well as reallocate resources to strategic projects that address core business requirements resulting in greater productivity for employees across the organization. At the end of the day managed services make sense for any business -SMB or Enterprise. It’s one way to increase revenue from existing customers while simultaneously securing the relationship with the client. At Cisco, managed services are a key element to long-term success for our partners and their customers.Go Yankees!