I recently attended 2023 Cisco Live! Amsterdam and talked to Cisco MSP partners about the tremendous success they’re seeing by incorporating Cisco products into their managed services offers. I also got to talk to existing Cisco VAR/Resellers about the opportunity to transition into offering managed services. All the positive energy was, indeed, contagious. Everyone was also excited about the release of the two new buying programs designed specifically for managed service providers. Let me share a few of the many stories I heard.

Managed service success delivered outcomes

We’ve all seen the numbers. Managed service provider partners are experiencing a 35% increase in revenue on average. Why is this?

One MSP partner shared that they continue to see new opportunities emerge as they consistently stay in touch with their customers through their managed offers, ultimately gaining a deeper understanding of their business needs. And by doing so, this MSP gains critical knowledge that they incorporate in proposing new improvements and upselling new projects. And their value proposition — to stay laser focused on helping customers achieve outcomes for success while reducing customers’ capex investment risk by consuming offerings delivered as a service — continues to resonate with their clients.

Transforming into managed services

We’ve been encouraging our existing VAR/Reseller partners to add managed services into their practices for some time now. For instance, partners that provide managed services are seeing a margin that’s 4 times higher than traditional product resell.

Our partner Axians represents this case in point. One of its most differentiational services is their network-as-a-service (NaaS) offering that they deliver as an end-to-end solution to our mutual customers. This offering combines 24/7 support and lifecycle management for customers. It´s a scalable, pay-per-use subscription model delivered 100% as a service.

‘’Cisco Managed Services team has been a great enabler in replicating NaaS across the globe, by adequate funding and know-how. Together we’ve created customized launches and sales acceleration in each region to meet our mutual customers’ business objectives. We are excited to expand our shared success to different offers.’’ — Troy de Backer, Global Transformation Lead, Axians

Flexible buying programs

As Cisco continues to make the rapid transition to software and recurring offers, one of the key tenets of that transformation is enabling choice and flexibility for our partners consuming Cisco software for managed services. Cisco has two buying programs designed specifically for managed service providers:

  • The Managed Services Enterprise Agreement (MSEA) is built on our standard Enterprise Agreement (EA) construct, but the partner owns the entitlement of the license. The partner also controls the terms with the end user and can enable as-a-service packaging while getting all the EA benefits, like True Forward.
  • The Managed Service License Agreement (MSLA) provides post-paid utility consumption for 17 Cisco software products and growing. This is appropriate when the customer cannot benefit from longer term commitments because of variable scale, seasonable demand, or dynamic user counts.

All the MSP partners I spoke with were super excited about these buying programs, as they provide an automated, frictionless, no-touch framework to consume Cisco licenses.

Want to learn more?

There’s little doubt about the rapid transition in the way our customers are buying technology, including wanting to buy managed outcomes delivered through our MSP partners. For existing Cisco VAR/Resellers, we continue to encourage becoming a managed service provider, as this transition represents an important option to grow and transform your business.

For our existing MSP partners, I think we all agree the opportunity in front of us is huge. And Cisco continues to work hard to help you be even more successful going forward.

Learn more by listening to the Cisco Live EMEA Partner Launch Experience
recordings, now available on-demand.


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Kunal Kaul

Senior Director

Partner Managed & as-a-Service Sales, EMEA