Nicole Coughlin—CIO of the Town of Cary, North Carolina—is passionate about improving the lives of all who live in and visit Cary. She believes that innovative technology can play a key role in this mission.

Tasked to deliver a diverse list of services—from wireless connectivity and securing a hybrid municipal workforce to supporting a round-the-clock contact center—the Town of Cary must navigate a complicated technology landscape and work with a limited IT budget and staff. (Most municipalities in the United States experience this challenge.)

Nicole understands that the solution begins and ends by focusing on outcomes. Take, for example, the transformation to hybrid work that all municipalities are facing. She recognizes that for hybrid work to really work, employees want—and need—similar connectivity inside and outside their home offices. Nicole also knows the importance of buying the best technology and having the network equipment managed to deliver positive wireless connectivity experiences rather than simply buying routers and access points.

But how does Nicole successfully make use of technology innovation given her limited budget and IT staff? Her “secret sauce” is a Cisco Managed Service Provider (MSP) partner who delivers standardized solutions aligned with outcomes and enabled by Cisco sellers.

A new way to partner

From Nicole’s perspective, her strategy has been to partner with providers who can not only introduce new technologies but also take on tactical day-to-day management responsibilities where appropriate.

In the case of Cary, Cisco Managed Service Provider partner NWN Carousel stepped in to offer managed solutions that address the town’s specific needs. These solutions encompass many areas such as supporting Cary’s hybrid work strategy, building wireless connectivity town-wide, and creating smart buildings—all with a focus on security. (It’s especially important that the networks deployed comply with existing and anticipated regulations.)

And key to NWN Carousel’s strategy are standardized solutions that leverage Cisco’s broad technology portfolio and a predictable, managed services cost and delivery model.

Delivering flexible solutions

The traditional VAR/reseller bespoke approach builds custom solutions that meet unique customer needs or drop off parts at the customer’s doorstep. NWN Carousel—a Cisco Gold Provider Partner—focuses on delivering solutions that are repeatable and scalable and align with outcomes the customer needs. This approach minimizes complexity and delivers results across a larger customer footprint.

In addition, with the traditional bespoke resale approach, adoption becomes pressing only at renewal time. Applying sales resources during the middle of a technology lifecycle generally does not generate revenue and is therefore difficult for account teams to prioritize.

In a managed service approach, the sales motion is built in to the front end of the deal, with software licenses and hardware assets included in the monthly subscription. As a result, increasing adoption requires less effort and can be managed more easily and flexibly, ultimately helping improve renewal rates. Cisco’s different buying programs—the Enterprise Agreement 3.0 and Managed Services Enterprise Agreement, for example—also help make Cisco technology easier to consume.

For these reasons alone, we are seeing tremendous growth among Cisco Provider partners in building and co-creating managed service offers with Cisco.

Indeed, sales models are transforming. In bringing deals to Cisco MSP partners, Cisco sellers have the opportunity—with our partners—to offer scalable and repeatable managed services capabilities that map to customers’ outcome needs.

And by partnering with Cisco MSP partner NWN Carousel, the Town of Cary is well on its way to leveraging a broad portfolio of Cisco technologies to improve the experience of its citizens, earning several awards that recognize innovation as it becomes an even smarter city.


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Leonard Thompson

Director of Managed Services and XaaS

Americas Partner Organization