In June 2022, we announced the cloud-delivered version of Firewall Management Center (FMC) within the Cisco Defense Orchestrator (CDO), bringing all the FMC features into the cloud and consolidating firewall management into an as-a-service consumption model.
As a reminder, CDO is a cloud-based management solution that allows you to manage security policies and device configurations with ease across multiple Cisco and cloud-native security platforms. FMC enables you to centralize and simplify your Firewall Threat Defense (FTD), through a single pane of glass. This adds security intelligence and threat analytics, providing the necessary visibility to respond to malware attacks in real time. With this wide breadth of intelligence and fine level of detail you can make more informed decisions, faster.
But what does a cloud-delivered FMC mean for Cisco’s managed service provider partners? Let me share four reasons why MSPs would do well to look at cloud-delivered firewall management to reduce investment risk and minimize complexity.
1. Reduce capital risk, don’t rack and stack
As an always available and scalable multi-tenant cloud solution, MSPs reduce investment risk and operational overhead by not having to run and manage underlying infrastructure required to run the software. That said, CDO supports providing a unified experience across on-premises and cloud-based firewalls. Even though CDO has cloud FMC available, some customers need to remain on-premise due to various requirements, but you can also integrate on-premise FMC, giving you the flexibility to manage.
2. Focus on outcomes, not software updates
We all know our MSP partners do a great job focusing on helping their customers reach their outcome objectives as trusted advisors delivering standardized managed offerings incorporating Cisco’s broad technology portfolio. That said, MSPs also need to focus on continuously improving their own operational efficiencies, so their teams have more bandwidth to focus on delivering customer outcomes.
With cloud-delivered FMC, crucial and timely updates are all handled by Cisco. MSPs automatically receive updates to the latest security threats, decreasing the opportunity for human errors. Operational efficiency is further enhanced as MSPs can seamlessly orchestrate policy changes across tens or thousands of devices dispersed across multiple geographic locations.
3. Automate and optimize costs, don’t waste talent
Clearly, costs get reduced by improving operational efficiencies by automating the tasks. By one measure, CDO automates many time-consuming repetitive security management tasks by up to 90%. In addition, CDO provides one pane of glass visibility, a feature that consolidates information from multiple tenants so the operator can see all tenants a user has access to on a single page.
Capabilities like these give your team time back to work on more strategic projects and workflows.
4. Accelerate adoption, don’t drown in onboarding
Many of our Cisco partners have added lifecycle into their selling motions. By combining the comprehensive visibility and event management capabilities of FMC for FTD with policy management capabilities of CDO, MSPs can more easily provide full lifecycle management of Cisco Secure Firewalls. For instance, it’s fast and frictionless to setup tenants and devices by leveraging Low-Touch Provisioning (LTP). MSPs are able to onboard customers quickly and start managing hundreds of devices within a few hours.
Customer adoption can increase as it’s easier to onboard customers and customer environments can be managed more easily with increased visibility through CDO. Ultimately, increased adoption rates can help to improve renewal rates.
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As technology becomes more sophisticated, our customers are increasingly looking at Cisco’s MSP partners to buy and consume the outcomes and experiences they need for success with fewer headaches. In turn, MSPs can increase their own operational efficiencies and reduce complexity, all while decreasing capex investment risk by using CDO with cloud-delivered FMC.
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