Cisco and AT&T this week announced the expansion of their marketing relationship to include technology and product planning, and direct sales collaboration.The companies will jointly market AT&T\u2019s managed services that are delivered on Cisco platforms. The agreement concentrates on U.S. business customers as well as U.S.-based multinational customers needing global managed services.The previous arrangement between Cisco and AT&T consisted of joint marketing to middle and low-end market customers through each company\u2019s indirect channels. Now, each company will also dedicate direct sales efforts, in addition to engaging in technology and product planning, under a \u201cmore formalized\u201d program, says Carlos Dominguez, Cisco vice president of service provider marketing.The companies will jointly market 17 AT&T managed services, including managed router, security, hosting, IP VPN, managed data, and business continuity services. More services will be added, AT&T officials say.AT&T says managed services are one of its strategic growth areas. The carrier has experienced 20% year-over-year growth in managed services, while the market overall has grown only 5% to 6%, company officials say.Cisco says its relationship with AT&T is much broader and more extensive in scope than similar arrangements with Sprint and SBC. It includes more products and managed services than the others, Cisco says, includes technology and product planning, and has global reach even though it is targeted initially at U.S. customers, they say.For technology and product planning, the companies created councils spearheaded by senior executives to identify and respond to market opportunities. These councils will evaluate emerging technologies as prospects for creation of new managed services.The extended Cisco-AT&T effort could involve as many as 1,200 members of the AT&T Alliance Channel and more than 3,000 certified members of the Cisco channel partner community. These resellers and remarketers are currently being certified as specialists in specific areas of networking, such as optical, IP VPN, hosting, security, and so forth, Cisco says.