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Making Cloud Possible by Changing the Game

A Game changer occurs when something that is thought about enables competitive advantages that were previously unachievable. Ideas that level the playing field or outpace the competition don’t come along every day. The Cloud is considered a game changer for service providers (SPs) enterprise and consumer customers alike. It’s a solution offering mutual advantage to all participants. There are so many people writing about it that we’re almost all becoming cloud-weary.

But like every good idea, execution is the key. If the Cloud cannot be leveraged by businesses profitably then the scorecard doesn’t go positive –  and in the case of service providers the scorecard is based on new revenue generating services, faster ways to get there, new levels of customer satisfaction, new ways to trim costs and new business opportunities.

For enterprises, using an SP or hybrid-Cloud approach offers new ways to cost reduce IT budgets and concentrate limited human capital on their core business offers. Mobile workers and teleworkers, can access resources at their fingertips while branch offices are linked to scalable, virtually unlimited resource pools via the network.

Cloud offers SMBs  a way to compete head-to-head with Fortune 1000s using new pay-as-you-go (or a pay-as-you-grow) business models. Applications that were unaffordable are now available on-demand.

Cisco Unified Service Delivery is helping Service Providers change their game when it comes to the Cloud. Service providers need a flexible, dynamic solution that enables on-demand service delivery. They need to integrate pools of resources within, across and beyond the data center and Cisco USD is the industry’s most complete end-to-end solution. The ability to manage a  cloud solution from the data center all the way to the end point while applying the right QoS and security and meeting numerous other parameters will be critical metrics for success.

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How Partners Can Drive Deals With Managed Services

Chances are you’re looking for ways to innovate, differentiate and monetize your offerings —who isn’t? Then look no further than Managed Services—Cisco’s Managed Services Channel Program can help you provide value to your customers, while helping you drive deals.

So how does that work? I got the chance to sit down with Bob Gault, VP of Worldwide Service Provider Channels, and he filled me in on what’s going on with Managed Services and Service Provider Channels as a route to market, and how you can take advantage of more deals out there today.

Here’s what Bob had to say.

Want to learn more about the details? Here’s what you need to know about the big topics and trends in Managed Services right now, and how Cisco can help you capitalize on those trends. Read More »

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Moving into the Cloud: Cisco Partner Shares Success Story

Over on the MSP Mentor site, blogger and Editorial Director Joe Panettieri’s FastChat series features quick interviews on a variety of tech topics.

In a recent episode, Cisco partner ePlus Inc. made an appearance. The company’s Director of Managed Services Tarun Sondhi talks about his role in helping ePlus to move from managed services into the cloud services market.

Watch the video interview below to find out the details.

ePlus has also received its Gold Partner, Master Unified Communications Specialization, Master Security Specialization, and Managed Services Master Certification so the company is poised to help customers on a number of levels.

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The Cut Stops Here: New Platforms for Growth

The service provider (SP) industry is at an inflection point. During the past couple of years, SPs have dealt with the economic downturn by focusing the majority of their attention on cutting costs – to the point where there’s very little left to cut. Despite continued economic uncertainty, there is a shift underway to revitalize revenue growth. SPs are eager to identify and execute on new sources of revenue growth – however, there is also clear recognition that revenue growth cannot come at the expense of profitability. Growth under such conditions means taking advantage of market transitions as they are happening, creating new platforms for growth.

One key opportunity for SPs lies in providing a more expansive set of services to small and medium sized businesses (SMBs)—particularly leveraging cloud-based capabilities. Based on our estimates, the SMB communications and IT infrastructure market collectively represents more than $120 billion in spend for 2010. SPs currently address 60 percent of this spend. By extending into cloud services, much of the remaining 40 percent becomes addressable.

Cisco IBSG Service Provider Director, Tine Christensen, addresses this opportunity in this video:

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Partner Questions Answered: Managed Services, Cloud, and White Label

You have questions, we have answers. We gathered up questions we’ve been hearing from partners around the topic of managed services, cloud, and white label and sat down with one of the foremost experts on the topic: Todd Roth, Director of the Managed Services Channel Program at Cisco. In this Q&A, he addresses partner concerns around new consumption models, partner-to-partner collaboration, and highlights some new developments in the managed services realm.

And with new cloud service designations within the Managed Services Channel Program (MSCP) that were just announced, this is a good time to explain those as well.

Channels blog: Hi, Todd. Thanks for joining us. What does “cloud service designation within MSCP” mean?

Todd Roth: It’s the beginning of a new class of service designations that enables partners to align and brand their cloud-based offerings with Cisco. Offerings that are built on a Cisco-validated architecture.

CB: What are the designations and who can take advantage?

TR: There are two designations:

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