Cisco Security Fuels Partner Sales That Are 'Beyond Hypergrowth'


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Cisco's security business is booming for channel partners as 2016 comes to a close, with many partners reporting triple-digit growth in Cisco Security revenues this year.

"Our Cisco security sales and managed services were up 100 to 200 percent in 2016. It's definitely beyond hypergrowth right now," said Ben Johnson, CEO of Griffin, Ga.-based Liberty Tech. "With Cisco's security architecture – the cloud with OpenDNS, now Umbrella, AMP (Advanced Malware Protection) built into everything including the Meraki MX and AMP for Endpoints – Cisco's really enabling managed security service providers to build a simple-to-manage and highly, highly effective security architecture. We're actively rolling that out now to all of our managed services clients … it's the simplest security pitch that I have seen from any vendor, ever."

Mike Greaney, CEO of Crofton, Md.-based Force 3, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sirius Computer Solutions, said his company would nearly triple its Cisco security sales in 2016.

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"Cisco has taken more of a holistic approach whereas some of their competitors out there only competed in a specific slice of that world," said Greaney, who company is ranked No. 78 on CRN's 2016 Solution Provider 500 (SP500) list. "Cisco has acquired their way into a position of strength and in the few areas they don’t have [a solution], they have a really strong ecosystem of OEM partners that we've benefited from as well such as Splunk."

Cisco's enhanced security business is also driving network refresh opportunities, according to partners.

"They're leveraging their strength in the network and doing it the right way. Security is driving everything right now. We are seeing that having a positive impact on the networking side of our business as well," Greaney said.

Sentinel Technologies, a Downers Grove, Ill.-based solution provider ranked No. 131 on CRN's SP500 , witnessed nearly a 200 percent spike in its Cisco security business quarter-over-quarter during Cisco second fiscal quarter, which ended Oct.29.

Sentinel's CTO Robert Keblusek said, "We're really packaging up the Cisco security architecture, which is really 95 percent of our security protection business from a product standpoint, and we're wrapping that into services, project services, recurring services and our security operations center and those are really resonating with customers."

Cisco's security business blossomed into a $2 billion annual run rate in this year with no hurdles in sight in 2017. The company's strategy of embedding its security solutions into the network, while at the same time heavily incentivizing channel partners around security sales, has led to four consecutive quarters of double-digit growth in security.

"Our competitive position in security is growing stronger as our integrated architecture approach, and best-of-breed portfolio resonates with our customers," said Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, during the company's recent quarterly earnings call in November. "In fact, we're the only company with security product revenue exceeding a $2 billion annualized run rate with double-digit growth."

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