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Cisco Expands Managed Services Through NetSolve Acquisition

Cisco Systems stepped up its commitment to helping partners deliver services last week with the acquisition of publicly traded managed service provider NetSolve in a deal valued at nearly $200 million.

NetSolve core services include monitoring and managing IP communications networks, security software and devices, and WANs and LANs. The MSP already worked with Cisco to allow Cisco partners to resell its managed services to their customers.

Edison Peres, vice president of advanced and core technologies for worldwide channels at Cisco, said that NetSolve will enable solution providers to operate and optimize customer networks from just about anywhere.

"We're interested in trying to help our partners develop capabilities [in managed services]," he said. "This type of offering delivers strong annuity streams and improves a partner's ability to monitor and manage Cisco products" on customer networks. Considering that many Cisco partners already offer managed services in these areas, however, some solution providers wondered whether the acquisition would put Cisco in direct competition with its own solution providers.

Jim Teter, president of Avnet Enterprise Solutions, Tempe, Ariz., is one such reseller. While Teter said he thought the deal was a "smart purchase" for Cisco overall, he noted that for those solution providers who have invested in building their own NOCs, there could be some concerns about cannibalization.

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