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Cisco-Meraki deal means midmarket cloud-based network technology sales

The recent Cisco-Meraki acquisition means that partners can now reach the midmarket by selling cloud-based network technology.

Editor's Note: For more detail on the Cisco-Meraki acquisition, check out SearchNetworking's coverage of the deal.

Cisco Systems Inc. recently announced the $1.2 billion acquisition of privately held networking vendor Meraki Inc., which could help the networking giant penetrate the midmarket with cloud-based network technology. This acquisition not only puts Cisco in a better position to reach the midmarket, but it also provides Cisco and Meraki partners with expanded technology and services portfolios, as well as a broader knowledge base.

"This is about a focus on going into the midmarket with a full networking portfolio. This is what Meraki brings to the table. They bring the simplicity of the full network -- wireless, security, MDM, etc. We feel the way they deliver that product to midmarket is simple, and Meraki partners have appreciated it," said Sujai Hajela, VP and GM of the Enterprise Wireless Networking Group, Cisco.

Meraki's cloud-based networking technology and business strategy are key

The Meraki acquisition and its impact on Cisco partners is not solely about the technology; in large part it's about Meraki's business strategy.

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"We recognize that Meraki has a great channel for serving cloud-based solutions and we are excited about working with these partners to improve business. We see that Meraki, along with their partners, have been effective going into the midmarket. We want to leverage not just the technology but the go-to-market [strategy]," Hajela said.

Cisco believes that with the acquisition of Meraki's technology and strategy, partners will get what they need in order to successfully plunge into the midmarket with cloud-based networking technology.

"The midmarket is looking at the new consumption model that Meraki has to offer, which is simple deployment managed over the cloud. From a Cisco perspective, not only the technology but also the recurring revenue will come into play, and a very software-centric model," said Hajela.

Cisco-Meraki acquisition benefits partners of both sides

The acquisition of Meraki's cloud-based networking technology expands the Cisco partner portfolio. "With Meraki, we are offering that additional consumption model for the customers to be able to deploy the solution using the Meraki cloud," Hajela said.

As for Meraki partners, Hajela said that having the Cisco name behind them brings them credibility, scale, a bigger portfolio and a leg up in selling faster.

"From a Meraki perspective, you get a bigger base, a bigger portfolio to tap into this opportunity. It is a differentiated channel-led offering that benefits the Cisco and Meraki partner base," he said.

Cisco-Meraki acquisition doesn't mean partner changes

Cisco is making a conscious effort to ensure that this acquisition isn't causing any bumps in the road when it comes to how Cisco and Meraki partners operate.

"We are going in with the diligence from a Cisco and Meraki partner perspective to minimize the change as much as possible. For Meraki partners, including their margins and partner programs, there will be no immediate change," Hajela said. "We are respecting important details for Meraki partners like protection of registered use. To be successful, we have to keep things as minimally changed as possible.

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