Here's an interesting trend: When Cisco Systems launched a Cloud Partner Program last month, some pundits wondered if cloud-related certifications would begin to suffocate or leapfrog established managed services partner programs. In Cisco's case the answer is no. Poke around the industry and you'll find plenty of well-known MSPs partnering more closely with Cisco on managed services. Here's the update.

The latest example involves NaviSite achieving Cisco's Advanced Managed Services Certification. As you may recall, Time Warner plans to acquire NaviSite, a managed hosting provider that exited the colocation industry in 2010. More recently, NaviSite disclosed plans to host Level Platforms' managed services software for MSPs.

Meanwhile, Hughes Network Systems, LLC has achieved Cisco Master Managed Services Certification. The  certification recognizes Hughes' investment in the ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) processes, practices, and tools for managed services.

Still, I've got to concede: The line between managed services and cloud computing is blurring in some areas. Roughly 100 Cisco MSPs have been grandfathered into the new Cisco Cloud Partner Program because the cloud program requirements are so similar to the MSP program requirements. Also, the MSPAlliance recently launched a new certification for MSPs focused on managed services and cloud computing.

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