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Mighty Cisco terminates British channel chum Phoenix IT Group

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Cisco has confirmed it was the unnamed vendor that gave top certified services partner Phoenix IT Group its marching orders last week - a move which sent the Phoenix share price tumbling by around 11 per cent.

Northampton-based Phoenix resold Cisco kit as a Gold partner but also provided third party maintenance bolted onto Cisco's core services, which it sold direct to users or provided on behalf of a reseller.

It was accredited as a Cisco support service player, one of a limited band, and as such met fairly stringent criteria that ranged from requisite service attach and renewal rates and provisions for 24 hour response times etc.

The US giant sent us a brief statement that it has "given notice to terminate its agreement with Phoenix IT Group, and is working with partners and customers to manage the transition".

Phoenix is no longer listed on Cisco's partner locator tool.

At the start of last week, Phoenix revealed that a supply contract with an unnamed vendor had been terminated but it provided little colour around the announcement, saying it was working to mitigate the impact.

It added that over time, the change thrust upon it - by Cisco as it transpires - would be better for Phoenix long term.

Ben Davies, CEO at rival Cisco services provider Comms-care, was unable to pinpoint the reasons for the termination. But he told us there has been a "surge" in firms approaching his business with "opportunities".

He said customers and channel partners of Phoenix would have a "bit of a hole to fill" in terms of support and it was trying to contact as many prospective customers as possible.

This is the latest in a long line of problems encountered by Phoenix - it is still searching for a CEO some 13 months after the last one left, it discovered accounting errors that forced it to restate results, and has failed to turn a profit in recent times.

Phoenix did not respond to calls at the time of writing. ®

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