Expanding on its offerings to small business partners, networking specialist Cisco announced a cloud-based service called OnPlus that offers channel partners a way to provide network assessment, management and advisory services to their small business customers. By enabling value-added resellers (VARs) to create or expand their managed services practice, OnPlus aims to help to evolve the customer relationship from reactive and tactical to more proactive and strategic.
OnPlus Service is offered at a list price of $250, which includes a three-year subscription to the OnPlus service and an OnPlus Network Agent appliance. A separate appliance and subscription service is required for each network being managed. Native applications for Apple and Android mobile devices are available free of charge in the Apple App Store and the Android Market.
The announcement builds on Cisco's Partner Led sales model designed to elevate channel partners' ability to drive sales in the small business and midmarket segments. Earlier this year, Cisco announced it would invest $75 million in its Partner Led initiative throughout 2012, for enablement, systems and support capabilities to help channel partners profitably grow their business.
OnPlus is designed for VARs that are looking to create or expand their managed service offerings, providing remote visibility of the network and the devices attached to the network, through a scalable cloud-based service, OnPlus helps VARs deploy advanced network services for their small business customers from anywhere at any time. To monitor a customer network, VARs plug the OnPlus Network Agent appliance into a switch or router on their customer's network. The OnPlus Agent then transmits information about the customer's network to a secure data center for access by the VAR.
In addition to discovery and monitoring of anything with an IP address from any supplier, OnPlus enables remote connectivity to manageable network devices to facilitate troubleshooting and configuration. For select Cisco devices, OnPlus provides enhanced capabilities that automate typical administrative tasks. In addition, the network-centric capability of OnPlus complements existing classes of managed services tools such as remote monitoring and management and professional services automation.
"Liberty Technology focuses on making technology easy for both consumers and businesses. With Cisco OnPlus, you're able to get a more complete, 360-degree picture of your customer's network," said Ben Johnson, president of Liberty Technology, a Cisco certified partner. "We've used OnPlus in a number of scenarios from doing network surveys to quickly troubleshooting and identifying problems with customer's networks, which has greatly saved us time and of course money."