New Cisco Powered cloud services leave some partners concerned

Cisco unveils five of its latest cloud services and a new managed service offering, but some partners see the additions as potentially problematic.

As vendors race to the cloud, it's all about momentum, and with the introduction of five new Cisco Powered cloud services and one new managed service, Cisco is keeping pace.

Just two months after Cisco Partner Summit 2014 in Las Vegas, where Cisco launched Cisco Cloud Services and pledged a billion-dollar investment to build a global Intercloud, Cisco expanded its portfolio of cloud services with Cisco Powered Cloud Cell Architecture for SAP HANA, Cisco Powered Hosted Security as a Service (HSS), Cisco Powered BYOD as a Service (BYODaaS), Cisco Powered Foundation for Software as a Service (FnSaaS), and Cisco Powered Application Experience as a Service (AXaaS). The new Cisco Powered Managed Service is Data Services over Satellite (DSoS).

For Cisco's Cloud and Managed Services Program (CMSP) partners, the addition of six new cloud services brings the number of Cisco offerings to a total of 11 Cisco Powered cloud services and 10 managed services, according to the company.

The more the merrier, right? Maybe for some CMSP partners, but not for others.

On the positive side, Cisco and other large global cloud services players, such as IBM, Amazon and Microsoft, legitimize the market for all cloud services providers. From this perspective, Cisco's expansion of its Cisco Powered Cloud Services and Managed Services is a good thing.

But depending on which of its tier-one partners Cisco partners with to offer Cisco Powered services, the outcome could be dicey.

"If Cisco offers its own Cisco cloud services, that would be one thing. But if Cisco is partnering with some of our direct competitors, that's a no-go," said Win Farnsworth, CEO of ISC Inc., a premier Cisco reseller in the Rocky Mountain region.

Farnsworth said he's going to a wait and see how this all plays out. However, he was adamant that there's no way he's going to insert a direct competitor, such as Dimension Data, into his company's account base. "It will never happen," he said.

Today, ISC offers Cisco Powered Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Cisco Powered Managed Business Communications. Founded in 1998, the company designs, deploys and manages advanced IT solutions and is also a cloud services provider operating its own cloud infrastructure. The cloud services provider offers backup as a service, disaster recovery as a service, applications as a service, and more.

In September 2013, IDC Corp. reported worldwide spending on public IT cloud services -- including platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS), and IaaS -- is expected to exceed $107 billion in 2017, up from projected revenue of $47.4 billion in 2013. That's a compound annual growth rate of 23.5%, or five times that of the IT industry as a whole.

Worldwide, the U.S. is the largest consumer of cloud services and will remain so during the IDC forecast period. However, the U.S. market share will decline from 56.9% in 2013 to 43.9% in 2014, according to the research firm.

Taking a closer look at the five new Cisco Powered cloud services:

  • Cisco Powered Cloud Cell Architecture for SAP HANA will enable partners to offer SAP HANA in an "as a service" licensing model from a cloud-based platform.
  • Cisco Powered HSS is based on Cisco's virtual security appliance technologies and enables partners to deliver Cisco's portfolio of security products as a service using hosted and managed models.
  • For managed enterprise Wi-Fi, Cisco Powered BYODaaS is a secure wireless solution for partners that target small and medium-size business customers.
  • In a first of its kind cloud service offering from Cisco, Cisco Powered FnSaaS provides independent software vendors an entry-level Cisco platform to offer their applications in an "as a service" model without having to deploy the complete Cisco Powered IaaS.
  • Cisco Powered AXaaS lets partners deliver a cloud-based service for customers to monitor their network resource usage, application performance metrics, and the performance improvements results from deploying application-aware quality of service (QoS) and optimization policies.

The new managed services offering, Cisco Powered DSoS, is for partners who support clients' remote locations via satellite and for maintaining network policies. It provides QoS and consistent policy application to deliver a scalable solution, according to Cisco.

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