Cisco creates new Channel Program

Cisco is to introduce a new channel program for cloud and managed services, which will provide partners the ability to streamline existing programs whilst increasing benefits and “offers (sic) access to Cisco's lucrative incentive program points”. The new program, called Cloud and Managed Services Program (CMSP), which is to be officially unveiled on Tuesday, combines two of Cisco’s existing programs in order to simplify the process for partners to receive benefits and profits from Cisco’s cloud strategy.

The two programs to be merged are the Cloud Provider and Cloud Reseller roles with the Managed Services Channel Program (MSCP) and will allow partners access to Cisco’s incentive program. The new program is due to be launched in January of next year.

The program is available to partners globally and “partners also will see closer alignment between CMSP and Cisco's Services Partner Program (CSPP), which was confirmed earlier this year”.

Partners will have access to other incentives and will be allowed to use Cisco’s branding in order to really push the cloud, which many believe is being held back by the Eurozone crisis.

"We've had a partner-based strategy for cloud -- we've been very clear about that," Ricardo Moreno, senior director of strategy, planning and programs, worldwide channels at Cisco told CRN this week.

Whilst the cloud partner program was launched last year, this was divided into three sections: builders, provider and services resellers for Cisco cloud.

"Now that the cloud is maturing, we want to mainstream our cloud programs," Moreno said. "Partners will be able to spend more time and take the benefits that make sense to them."

There will also be a microsite available that allows partners to collaborate and find other, suitable, partners to team up with.

Those interested will need to move to CMSP by August 1 next year and will have to deliver at least two “Cisco-powered” services in order to qualify. However, it seems that many of Cisco’s existing partners already do so, so it shouldn’t be too difficult a transition to make.

Cisco launched the previous partner program earlier this year and merged 50 worldwide programs into one umbrella program as a way for partners to take advantage of cloud computing, which Cisco say is “roughly a $200 billion market opportunity”.

At the time, Cisco’s annual survey of its partners found that providers on the whole make around 50% of revenue with services.