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Cisco Expands Cloud Managed IT Strategy

By Paula Bernier

Cisco Systems has revealed its expanding strategy related to its Meraki acquisition and cloud managed IT, and also announced the general availability of its Cisco ONE Software Suite.

The company’s cloud-managed IT solution leverages technology it got from Meraki, which provided a single dashboard that delivers a full suite of wireless-focused cloud solutions including mobile device management, routing, security, and switching. The Meraki solution is used by a wide variety of customers, including Motel 6 to support 11,000 locations and 70,000 guest rooms, and Australian retailer Forever New.

Since acquiring Meraki in January of 2013, Cisco has added 50,000 customers and seen 400 percent growth for these products. During that time, Cisco says, it has also seen the potential of expanding these cloud managed services beyond wireless to support the entire on-premises infrastructure. So Cisco is doing that now -- taking the solution up-market -- and supporting features including analytics, content filtering, integrated monitoring and reporting, and security intrusion prevention.

“The key is this is all managed centrally, and it’s all managed from the cloud,” says Todd Nightingale, vice president and general manager of Cisco’s cloud networking group.

As a result, Cisco says, its channel partners can capture recurring revenue via cloud management licenses and managed services; they can offer their clients a complete cloud-managed portfolio (including security, switching, wireless, and enterprise mobility management); and they can cater to enterprise, mid market/commercial, and SMB customers.

As for the Cisco ONE Software Suite, John Brigden, Cisco’s vice president of software strategy and operations, says that this solution enables the company and its partners to sell outcomes rather than systems. And although the current Cisco model sells features and capabilities that are separately priced and ride on top of its platforms, Cisco ONE introduces a more integrated solution that addresses access, the data center, and the WAN to make features very easy for organizations to understand, purchase and consume.

The Cisco ONE Software perpetual licenses are generally available, but the subscription model is not yet available. Cisco plans to announce the release of the subscription model at an as-yet-undisclosed time in the future.




Edited by Rory J. Thompson

Executive Editor, TMC

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