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Managed Services: OnPlus for Small Business Reseller Partners

December 13, 2011 at 10:33 am PST

Imagine being alerted of a customer’s network issue at your son’s baseball game. Now imagine being able to fix that issue between innings, before the customer even becomes aware of it.

That’s the power of OnPlus, a new managed service Cisco is announcing today to help VARs easily and affordably provide network assessment, management, and advisory services to their small business customers. This new service provides VARs with a cost-effective, scalable business model for those beginning to establish their managed services practice.

So what does this really mean for our channel partners?

If you ask Liberty Technology President and Cisco certified partner Ben Johnson, he’d say that, “Liberty Technology focuses on making technology easy for both consumers and businesses. With Cisco OnPlus, you’re able to get a more complete, 360 degree picture of your customer’s network. We’ve used OnPlus in a number of scenarios, from doing network surveys to quickly troubleshooting and identifying problems with customer’s networks, which has greatly saved us time and of course money.”

What else can you gain from using Cisco OnPlus service? Read on for all of the advantages. Read More »

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Now Is the Time for Service Providers To Invest in Cloud Services for Small and Medium Businesses

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are leading the way to cloud services. In fact, SMBs represent two-thirds of the public cloud market, outpacing the growth of enterprise cloud adoption by about 10 points, according to a recent McKinsey report (“Outlook—Overcast and Bright: How the Cloud Is Transforming IT for SMEs,” McKinsey & Company, July 2011). Yet, many service providers (SPs) are wondering whether the rate of SMB cloud adoption makes it worthwhile to invest in cloud and managed services for SMBs. They are asking:

  • Is now the time to invest in SMB-focused services?
  • What do SMB customers want?
  • How do SMBs want to consume cloud services?

SMB Cloud Watch is ongoing research from the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) designed to answer these questions. Here are some highlights of our most recent findings: Read More »

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Xerox Corp. and Cisco Team Up to Offer Secure, Cloud-Based IT Services

May 9, 2011 at 2:21 pm PST

It may be sunny where you live, but the forecast calls for clouds today as Cisco and Xerox Corporation announced a strategic alliance to deliver cloud-based IT services. The partnership between Cisco and Xerox brings technology solutions that combine network and print cloud services for customers, along with a host of opportunities for partners.

Today’s announcement means that customers can add managed print services to their networks, leverage cloud server infrastructure to scale their application hosting, monitor print devices, manage everything in one cloud environment — and lower IT expenses, too.

It’s a “win-win-win” as Cisco SVP Keith Goodwin tweeted this morning.

What’s not to like? Today’s announcement delivers solutions in the following major areas:

  • Xerox Corporation Managed Print Services over Cisco Borderless Networks:
    This consolidates IT and print management using the network’s embedded security, WAN optimization, and print aware intelligence to monitor print technology and operating costs, to protect confidential data from any location, and to improve employee productivity with advanced mobile and cloud printing applications.
  • Xerox Cloud ITO Services via Cisco UCS and Vblock Infrastructure:
    This accelerates the rollout of new IT services to adapt to changing needs of the workforce and reduce IT costs through a private cloud, the public cloud or through a combination in a hybrid cloud environment.
  • Xerox Mobile Print Solution on Virtual Desktops and Cisco Cius:
    Means (almost) no more worrying. Mobile workers can securely print documents from any email-enabled device – including virtual desktops and Cisco Cius tablet – to any enabled printer using the Cisco Borderless Networks and Wireless LAN solutions.

What’s in it for partners? Read More »

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Broadcast Recap: How Professional Services Can Increase Partners’ Profitability

April 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm PST

On Monday I hosted a live Channels Chat video broadcast with Bob Dimicco, Senior Director of Cisco Services. Bob is responsible for the Collaborative Professional Services program that was launched at Partner Summit.

During the broadcast, he offered an overview of how services are a key differentiator for Cisco partners, and he explained how services can drive partner profitability. Here’s a replay in case you missed it.

Cisco’s services strategy places the partner at the center, according to Bob, because partners are critical to Cisco’s go-to market strategy, whether a partner is selling professional services, managed services, or technical services.

In terms of sales, it used to be that products generated far more revenue for partners than services. Five years ago, 80% of partners’ business was product-based, and 20% was generated by services. Now, partners’ business is almost split evenly between product and services. Bob then told viewers that services help an end-customer see how technology can really generate business outcomes.

Want to learn more? In addition to the video replay above, we’ve got a text summary of the broadcast, along with time stamps to identify sections in which Bob addresses key topics, such as market opportunities around architectures, success stories, and how Cisco’s services are different from those competitors offer.

Read More »

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Cisco Partner FusionStorm Shares Tips on Moving to the Cloud

Once again, Joe Panettieri, MSP Mentor blogger and Editorial Director, featured another Cisco partner in his FastChat series, which centers on moving from managed to cloud services. This time around, Joe chatted with Vince Conroy, CTO of FusionStorm.

During their discussion, Vince talked about where FusionStorm is headed in the cloud services market, and he offered up some best practice advice for resellers who are formulating strategies for managed and cloud services.

Watch Vince’s interview below to hear all the details.

So, what’s FusionStorm’s focus? The company just recently launched a new, cloud-based hosting service in which customers can run applications in a hosted, private cloud. These private clouds are set up in one of six FusionStorm data centers.

If you are looking to break into the managed and cloud services market, Vince offers this bit of advice:

Read More »

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