In this episode, Richard is joined by Marc Inderhees, As a Service Lead, and Sayuri Sato, EMEA Managed Service Go to Market and Strategy Leader in the Partner Managed Team at Cisco, a global software and cloud solutions company.
Who are Cisco?
Cisco is a household name, but it may surprise you to learn that they’ve changed their offerings in the last 15 years or so, as Marc explains: “The leadership team says we’re very much a software company.
“We have cloud offerings and we’ve made a commitment to move to everything as a service model. We’re market leaders in collaboration, security and networking, and we’re also committed to supporting MSPs in the SMB space.”
How Cisco View Managed Services and the Value of Collaboration
To Cisco, managed services involves partnerships, from fully-outsourced IT support to network and security management. They strive to better empower MSPs to be more efficient, more profitable and to grow recurring revenue.
Cisco are the leading collaboration company on the planet, and as part of that they introduced the Cisco Partner Programme to help MSPs with cloud, go to market and lifecycle services and to accelerate growth. They’ve also worked to enable their partner account managers to better engage with and support MSPs.
The Cisco Meraki Solution
Meraki is Cisco’s full stack, flagship solution and is used by more than half of their MSP customers. It covers a wide range of IT needs, but Marc says that it’s most often used for SD LAN security solutions and in wireless.
The Meraki dashboard gives MSPs a global view of their clients, and it’s all managed in the cloud. It saves them time by allowing them to resolve problems and close tickets faster. This also saves both the MSP and their client money, and it’s easy to configure – simply plug it in and run it.
Why Cisco Recommends MSPs Talk to Distributors
Most MSPs are comfortable with the idea of talking to vendors about software and solutions, Sayuri suggests something a bit different, and encourages MSPs to get in touch with distributors instead.
“Our distributors are like an extended Cisco salesforce, and MSPs can ask them the same questions they’d put to the sales team. They can talk about the solutions available and help the MSP choose the right tools for their needs, and how they can integrate with existing technologies.”
How the Umbrella DNS Solution Benefits MSPs
Umbrella, Marc says, is “the leading DNS protection solution in the marketplace from enterprise down to SMB and it’s been successful because of the ease of use and efficacy of the product.”
MSPs who use Umbrella (often alongside Meraki) report fewer tickets and incidents to respond to, which lowers their cost of support and increases their revenue. DNS filtering technology means that everything coming through the internet connection is looked at and the ‘bad stuff’ taken out.
If you’re not sure what DNS is, this article might help!
Cisco use a product called Talos, which, after the US government, has the largest threat intelligence team and database of known risks and threats on the planet. Cisco process millions of threats every day and updates their products almost in real time.
Cisco’s MFA Solution
Cisco also offer multi factor authentication (MFA) in their Duo solution. It allows MSPs to secure their RMM (remote monitoring and management). Duo is Cisco’s fastest-growing security technology.
The Duo experience is simple – after signing up to the tool, MSPs are able to install and run it straight away, and can deploy it quickly across all client systems. It’s a ‘set it and forget it solution’ which requires little monitoring and low overheads, and won’t generate a lot of tickets.
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Mentioned in This Episode
- Forrester Report on MSP Businesses
- Cisco Network Solutions: Meraki
- Cisco DNS Solution: Umbrella
- Cisco MFA: Duo
- Business Software Solutions: ConnectWise
- ConnectWise Peer Group: IT Nation Evolve
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