- Next step in Cisco partner program evolution to support partner competitiveness and recognize deep expertise
- Six new solution specializations focus on the biggest market opportunities for partners, including hybrid cloud, hybrid work, secure access service edge (SASE) and full-stack observability
- By tying solution specializations to customer buying criteria, Cisco makes it easier for customers to identify which partners to work with
Cisco Partner Summit, Las Vegas, NV. – November 1, 2022 – Cisco today expanded its portfolio of specializations available through the company’s world-class partner program. Cisco’s partner program continues to evolve to increase partner sales opportunities, add flexibility to partner certification requirements, and emphasize the importance of multi-architectural expertise. The six new specializations are tied to Cisco customer priorities and represent fast-growing market opportunities for Cisco and its partners in areas where Cisco has been investing and innovating.
Cisco solution specializations are designed to showcase partner value to customers and represent the type of solutions partners are selling today. They reflect how partners are using cross-architectural solutions to solve some of their customers’ biggest challenges in today’s hybrid work world—challenges such as balancing an organization’s security needs with the flexibility employees want, providing the best digital experience or consistently delivering a secure user experience from anywhere. Aligned to massive market opportunities, specializations are designed to protect and optimize partner investments with Cisco, offer more opportunities for differentiation, and recognize the co-innovation that is happening between Cisco and its partners.
“Specialization is ranked number one as the initial critical partner selection criterion for 74 percent of customers,” said Anurag Agrawal, Chief Global Analyst, Techaisle. “By tying solution specializations to customer buying criteria, Cisco makes it easier for customers to identify which partners to work with.”
Partners that achieve solution specializations are recognized and rewarded based on the value delivered to customers. The requirements for each specialization are tied to knowledge and experience, allowing partners to capitalize on their existing investments with Cisco. The six new solution specializations added to Cisco’s partner program include:
Full-stack Observability (FSO)
- Showcases expertise in centralizing and correlating application performance analytics across the full IT stack, including integrations across AppDynamics, ThousandEyes, Intersight, and Secure Application.
- Demonstrates expertise in prioritizing actions to deliver superior customer experiences, drive revenue streams, and accelerate digital transformation.
Hybrid Work from Office
- Recognizes Cisco partners for their skills and experience helping customers evolve traditional on-site and off-site work models, with solutions that power hybrid work, enabling people to work safely and securely from home, the office, and anywhere in between on any given day or time.
Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)
- Highlights partners’ ability to help customers to securely enable the growing universe of roaming users, devices, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps without adding complexity or reducing end-user performance.
Hybrid Cloud Computing
- Showcases partners that provide customers with simple, secure hybrid cloud computing experiences at home, in the office, or anywhere.
Hybrid Cloud Networking
- Recognizes partners that securely and efficiently connect and manage customers’ data, workloads, and applications across data centers, edge, and multiple clouds.
Hybrid Cloud Software
- Demonstrates expertise in managing operational complexity by helping customers streamline and unify IT operations with secure, hybrid cloud management software.
The new solution specializations are one of the four categories of partner specializations available to qualified Cisco partners to demonstrate their expertise to customers, including:
- Architecture specializations: demonstrate deep product expertise in specific technology areas.
- Solution specializations: demonstrate that a partner excels at delivering value with Cisco solutions, including cross-architectural offers prioritized by customers.
- Cisco Powered Service specializations: convey partner proficiency in delivering managed services and as-a-service offers.
- Business specializations: focused on horizontal business practices that are essential to supporting customers’ business goals.
“These new specializations are aligned with the types of solutions and expertise customers are demanding. They demonstrate to customers that they are working with the best partners in the industry,” said Marc Surplus, Vice President, Partner Strategy and Programs in Cisco’s Global Partner and Routes to Market Sales organization. “We’ve designed the solution specializations to complement partners’ prior investments in Cisco and to build on their current expertise so that partners can further differentiate themselves in the market.”
Partners interested in pursuing these new solution specializations can find out more at www.cisco.com/go/solutionspecializations.
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 Techaisle Commercial and Enterprise Partner Selection and Communication study, June 2022