Cisco hammers home tier differentiation in new partner program

More specialisations needed to obtain gold and premier tiers for integrators.
Oliver Tuszik (Cisco)

Oliver Tuszik (Cisco)

Eight months after unveiling a revamped, consolidated partner program, Cisco has revealed further details of what its new line-up means for partners. 

Having consolidated a dozen separate programs into four key partner roles, Integrator, Provider, Developer and Advisor, the networking vendor has now opened up about the new program’s recognition and rewards schemes. 

According to Cisco, all four roles will be eligible to obtain gold status but will require further steps and differentiation exercises to achieve tier rises. 

With the integrator role, for example, all gold-level integrators will have achieved Cisco’s Customer Experience Specialisation by April 7, 2022. 

Meanwhile, to achieve premier status, integrators will have to complete two advanced architecture specialisations or one advanced architecture and one business specialisation. Those who reach these levels will receive additional rewards including VIP, perform plus and marketing benefits. 

Cisco will streamline its continuous learning (CL) requirements by separating them from individual specialisations.  

In particular, all CL credits will count toward the integrator role levels in general, alleviating an unnecessary administrative burden on partners and allowing them to focus on the skills they need most in order to serve their customers 

Meanwhile, Cisco has “firmed up” the requirements for those falling into the Provider camp, partners who focus on software-as-a-service and other as-a-service areas. Now, gold and premier providers will be differentiated for their “excellence in offering Cisco Powered services and lifecycle support for customers”, the vendor said. 

For these partners, Cisco said it would provide predictable, programmatic pricing, deal registration for managed services, more flexible consumption options, dedicated investment and business development funds, technical support enablement and co-marketing. 

Developer partners will now gain more recognition under the new program, with Cisco accelerating technical training and tools, solution development, co-marketing, access to Cisco Sales resources, and the DevNet Specialisation.  

“With the developer role, all Cisco partners can more easily find opportunities to work together and integrate each other’s offerings into their solutions,” the vendor said. 

Finally, consultancy partners will now fall into the Advisor category, with Cisco providing technical and strategic development resources (for example, proofs of concept), cooperative business development, co-sales and access to Cisco events. 

Cisco first revealed its channel changes at its Partner Summit Digital last October in what was called its “biggest changes in over a decade”, 

“Transformation is accelerating now more than ever before and we need our programs and platforms to reflect how Cisco and our partners can best succeed together," Oliver Tuszik, senior vice president of Global Partner Organisation at Cisco said at the time. 

"These changes will deliver simplicity and allow Cisco and our partners to be more agile, relevant, and profitable. It's about being ‘future-ready' for anything that comes our way." 

Also set to launch is Partner Experience Platform (PXP), a digital platform to support partners during the lifecycle process, enhancing experience levels and allowing the opportunity to “co-innovate and co-sell” with Cisco.