A growing number of Cisco customers are looking for providers who have achieved a Cisco Cloud and Managed Services Program (CMSP) Master Certification. In fact, this certification is even more important than customer references, as it ensures that the IT professionals who manage your network know what they are doing and have the right training.
According to Cisco, “Partners participating in Cisco’s CMSP must meet various Cisco requirements to prove the ability to develop, deliver, manage, and support Cisco-based cloud and managed service solutions. CMSP partners have demonstrated IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Foundation processes, practices, and tools to support Cisco technologies at all lifecycle phases.” CMSP partners must complete an extensive third-party audit process to ensure they can deliver managed services with consistent operational discipline and excellence – from the cloud or on premises.
If you want to get the benefits of Cisco’s cloud collaboration, IaaS and connectivity services, then you must work with someone who knows what they’re doing and how Cisco managed and cloud products will integrate with everything else on your network. Here are seven reasons why you should find a CMSP:
- Reduced downtime. Cisco holds CMSPs accountable to ensure that they have the right systems, tools and processes in place to keep your Cisco managed or cloud service up-and-running at all times. CMSPs will monitor your network, on-premise equipment and cloud-based services 24/7 and fix problems before they impact your business. They also automatically run backups and can quickly restore data, files and applications. If something suddenly breaks, a CMSP can work on it remotely, so you don’t have to wait for a technician to arrive on your site.
- Increased transparency. Whether your CMSP is managing your on-premise equipment or providing you with a cloud service, they will give you detailed reports of your systems performance and monthly usage. For example, your actual usage each month, your number of calls and when people are calling. You will also receive reports on any issues that arose and how long it took your CMSP to solve them. Your CMSP will also use this information to learn what they must do to make sure these issues don’t reoccur.
- Increased efficiencies. A CMSP has all of the knowledge and tools needed to optimize your system and reduce your maintenance costs. Since they monitor your network 24/7 and view detailed reports on its performance, they can tell you if you need to add or remove capacity and provide advice on how you can lower your costs. In addition to improving your network efficiencies, a CMSP can also work with you to get the latest collaboration tools – such as instant messaging linked to Cisco voice system – to help your employees be more efficient.
- Decrease your IT burden. When you partner with a CMSP, you won’t need to hire more staff. Your vendor will provide you with access to a team of Cisco-certified professionals who will work as an extension of your team to give you round the clock monitoring and support. This also frees up your current IT staff, so they can focus on key initiatives instead of monitoring and troubleshooting your cloud systems.
- Reduce your license spending. Many IT managers pay for more licenses than they actually use. A CMSP is able to monitor your licenses and let you know if you can cut back to reduce your costs. They will also help you manage costs as you scale up or your business needs evolve.
- Save big on Cisco products. CMSPs can pass on any eligible discounts from Cisco to sell you Cisco products and services at lower prices. The higher their certification, the more attractive pricing they are able to offer.
- Receive better customer service. CMSPs don’t “sell it and forget it”. They will be with you every step of the way from planning to installation to maintenance. If you have a problem, you can call in 24/7 and speak with knowledgeable staff who are familiar with your solution, your needs and how you like things done.
Allstream was the first provider in Canada to obtain a Managed Services Master Certification and has recently expanded its certification to the new Cisco Cloud and Managed Services Master Certification. Allstream is also the first provider in Canada to add the latest Cisco CMSP cloud service, Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS), to its portfolio. These certifications recognize Allstream as having the capabilities to sell and deliver cloud and managed services to help accelerate time-to-market and time-to-revenue. Learn more about CMSP and HCS.