Cisco Systems has teamed with ConnectWise to create a solution that enables MSPs to monitor and manage Cisco's cloud-based networking, security and unified communications solutions under a single pane of glass.
At Cisco Partner Summit 2017 Wednesday, Cisco unveiled ConnectWise Unite with Cisco, a managed services software that combines Cisco Spark, Meraki, Cisco Umbrella and Stealthwatch Cloud under a single interface.
"This is a managed service in a box that a partner can take out to a customer," said one source familiar with the solution, who did not wish to be identified. "StealthWatch, Spark, Cisco Meraki -- these have been individual cloud-managed assets. Unite actually brings all of this together in a common platform so the MSP can lead with a platform strategy pulling all these different pieces together versus having to integrate and manage these individually."
Partners no longer need to log into separate Cisco cloud solutions for billing or to monitor subscriptions. Instead of working with disparate systems and portals, MSPs will be able to operate from one pane of glass with Unite.
Spark is the vendor's flagship collaboration product suite, while Meraki is Cisco's cloud-based networking solution that is generating more than $1 billion in annual sales. Umbrella is Cisco's security platform, and Stealthwatch Cloud secures public, private and hybrid cloud environments.
ConnectWise Unite with Cisco and ConnectWise Unite with AWS are available today.
"If you think about this whole concept of as-a-service and customers wanting to migrate to subscription models, the ability for a customer to pay one monthly fee to their partner -- and to get network, security, collaboration and all the management around that -- is unprecedented," said the source.
Another opportunity for MSPs with the new solution is the ability to tap into more small- and midsize-business market opportunities.
SMBs will spend a whopping $568 billion on IT services in 2017, according to IT market research firm IDC. That number is expected to increase by more than $100 billion over the next five years and exceed $676 billion by 2021. While hardware purchases currently represent the largest share, IDC expects software and IT services spend to both surpass hardware spending in 2019.
"It's an enterprise solution, but then it can actually be brought down to SMBs because Cisco has taken those technologies and put them into a cloud platform. So the delivery mechanism from Cisco allows them to accommodate enterprises as well as small business," said another source familiar with the solution.
To help enable partners on the new platform, the two companies are making a free trial available to MSPs through Jan. 1, 2018. Partners who register will get access to webinars, online training and road shows if they sign up before the end of 2017.
ConnectWise Unite is currently available in North America and in western and northern Europe. It will be rolled out globally over the next 12 months.
Cisco Partner Summit is taking place from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.