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Michelle Ragusa-McBain Rejoins Cisco for XaaS, MSP Partner Push

Well-known channel advocate Michelle Ragusa-McBain has rejoined Cisco Systems as global lead and channel evangelist for XaaS and MSPs worldwide, she confirmed today.

Ragusa-McBain's career move aligns with Cisco's continued shift towards recurring revenues and subscription services. Her title also reinforces the networking giant's march from enterprise systems into the SMB market -- led by managed IT service providers (MSPs) that leverage such platforms as Cisco Duo, Meraki and Umbrella, among other offerings.

In addition to her work "in" the channel, Ragusa-McBain is a global influencer who works "on" the channel -- championing such causes as diversity, equity and inclusion among technology vendors and their channel partners.

Ragusa-McBain previously held key posts at channel consulting firm JS Group and retail giant Office Depot, where she helped the company push deeper into services. Moreover, she was chair of CompTIA's Advancing Women in Technology community.

Why Michelle Ragusa-McBain Rejoined Cisco

Fast forward to present day. Rejoining Cisco is a homecoming of sorts for Ragusa-McBain. She previously held key partner-centric posts at the networking company from 2005 through 2017. ChannelE2E caught up with Ragusa-McBain over email to learn more about here career move. Here's the recap...

ChannelE2E: What attracted you back to the Cisco team?

Ragusa-McBain: Cisco has always been near and dear to my heart.  It is where I began my career in Technology almost 18 years ago.  This is a sort of "coming home" journey for me.  Cisco truly is a pioneer in the Technology Channel Ecosystem to change the way the world lives, works, plays and learns, and continues to innovate 37 years after it was founded.

For employees, it's consistently a best place to work embracing and championing diversity and inclusion of all its employees, success of its partners, and philanthropic efforts in the global community. For our channel, Cisco leads with a partner first culture to help drive success for partnerships around the world, and now I get to lead that effort for Managed Service Providers.

ChannelE2E: How does this role differ from your earlier career at Cisco?

Ragusa-McBain: I feel uniquely qualified for this role as it is the progression of my career, passion and expertise. I spent 13 years at Cisco in a variety of spaces (from Distribution, Enterprise, Commercial, Telco and Public Sector); and I have spent the last several years working with Managed Service Providers to help them succeed in a new normal. This role marries those two worlds perfectly!

Cisco has announced significant changes in the past year to further strengthen its partner-led go-to market. Key initiatives include transitioning the product portfolio to an as-a-service model to serve customers more effectively. This move builds on the "significant transformation" our CEO Chuck Robbins spoke about earlier in the year as it shifts its focus to software, services, and subscriptions.

At the same time, Cisco is consolidating and simplifying partner tools- from 166 different tools, to a single unified platform, and looking to create and enhance end-to-end solutions geared at MSP's and SMB's.  I have seen Cisco go through multiple transformations, and I am thrilled to help lead in this mission is to bring these strategies to life, and work with many of my old friends internally, and externally, in a new capacity.

ChannelE2E: As Global Lead, are there specific regions outside of the U.S. that you’ll prioritize?

Ragusa-McBain: It will be my personal mission to help all MSP communities around the world - listening to their voices, understanding their needs, and positioning our XaaS solutions and strategies to help drive our mutual success.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.