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Cisco, MCI Form SMB Channel Partnership

Cisco Systems Inc. and MCI on Tuesday said they have agreed to collaborate on helping Cisco channel partners sell hosted and premise-based Internet protocol communications systems that combine Cisco technology and MCI services.

The joint effort targets Cisco partners that serve small and medium-sized businesses. As part of the agreement, the two companies plan to identify resources and create the tools, training and programs to improve the channel partner's ability to sell the joint products.

Phil Meeks, senior vice president of MCI strategic ventures and alliances, said the agreement opens up a new sales channel for MCI, while giving both companies a larger selection of voice, data and security products. Current products covered in the agreement include MCI's VoIP services and Cisco's Call Manager and Call Manager Express.