Evolving Partnership and Profitability.
Highlights and roadmap.
The New Cisco Partner Program
Transform for the future - together
At Partner Summit 2020, we announced our vision for the new Cisco Partner Program - a future ready foundation for profitable partnerships.
The world is changing, and our customers are increasingly moving to SaaS, managed services, and cloud solutions. The New Cisco Partner Program will help you prepare to increase your business agility, grow market relevance, and reach profitability goals through more flexible consumption models and reduced time to value.
It starts with the consolidation of existing partner programs into a unified framework that emphasizes and rewards your investments based on how you create and deliver value to customers. The new program is designed around the four primary roles partners are playing with customers and addresses the reality that many of you are playing more than one role.
These four roles are:
Integrator, Provider, Developer, and Advisor.
Depending on the goals of your Cisco practice, you will find benefits linked to investments across each of these roles.
Our Gold brand remains the cornerstone of the program and extends beyond the Integrator role and now extends across the Provider, Developer, and Advisor roles as well. In addition to expanding Gold availability, we continue to enhance Premier and Select levels to reward partners who invest in building Cisco practices and to recognize the depth of your offerings.
Did you miss the Future Ready - Programs and Profitability webinar?
View the recording
Listen in as Marc Surplus, VP of Partner Strategy & Programs, and IDC Analyst Steve White, VP Channels and Alliances, explore the Cisco Partner Program's evolution, enhancements available now, and how channel experts view our partner profitability strategy.
The Cisco Partner Program continues to recognize and reward your investments.
Your Cisco practice is as valuable as ever, and you can expect it to become even more important throughout this transformation.
The New Cisco Partner Program:
Recognizes your agility and the value you co-create with Cisco for your customers. We are expanding your ability to differentiate and showcase your unique value creation strategy.
Brings greater differentiation to all partners by aligning your strengths and unique value drivers with the four roles (Integrator, Provider, Developer, and Advisor) and levels (Gold, Premier, and Select).
Positions you for opportunities and increased profitability by shifting from a product lifecycle to a customer lifecycle. Incentives are designed to drive synergy across roles, build on your existing investments, and accelerate value as you expand across multiple roles.
The New Cisco Partner Program
Transition timeline and requirement milestones
Stay informed, learn and prepare
The New Cisco Partner Program—Questions and Answers
How are the four new roles defined?
Integrator. The Integrator role describes partners selling Cisco technology and services, adding their unique value to solve critical customer business challenges. Integrators continue to provide industry leading solutions for our customers, and we are committed to invest, reward and build strong partnerships while increasing flexibility and profitability.
Provider. The Provider role describes partners that deliver as-a-service and managed solutions through flexible consumption models - aligning to customer business goals, reducing CapEx costs, and lower operating risk. Providers make it possible for customers to focus on what’s most important - their business.
Developer. The Developer role is for partners who create unique solutions using their products, software, and services, combined with Cisco’s world-leading technologies. Developers can further optimize and differentiate their solutions through the DevNet Specialization.
Developers go to market with our extensive ecosystem of Integrator and Provider partners in a co-selling model.
Advisor. The Advisor role is for partners who recommend optimized solutions to complex business challenges based on deep industry knowledge and customer relationships. Advisors work with Cisco in a mutual success model and are crucial to developing pre-sales opportunities and ensuring post-sales customer satisfaction.
Can partners qualify for more than one role in the Cisco Partner Program?
Partners who meet the requirements may qualify for more than one role. For example, a partner may earn the Gold Integrator role and the Select Advisor role with the proper qualifications.
How will the Cisco Partner Program continue to differentiate partners who have invested in building a Cisco practice?
We designed the new program to amplify, reward, and differentiate the unique ways you bring value to customers, getting more out of the levels and competency designations that your company has achieved.
Why is the Cisco Partner Program referred to as a “unified partner program”?
The Cisco Partner Program unifies several disparate programs under a simplified model anchored to the roles partners use to create and deliver value to customers. As you transition into the new roles, you may find more opportunities for recognition than in the past.
Are the new program roles - Integrator, Provider, Developer, and Advisor - different from the roles required to meet Specializations or Certifications eligibility requirements?
Yes. The program roles align to key roles you may play with your customers—for example, as a Provider, you may offer as-a-service solutions to customers. That’s different from the job roles included as part of the current specialization and program level requirements.
Job roles refer to specific individuals within a company who possess validated knowledge and skills on a particular topic.
Will additional investments be required to meet new eligibility criteria?
We intend to support investments already made by partners whenever possible. As our businesses and customers evolve, there will always be the need to invest to stay relevant.
Any changes to eligibility will be communicated early and we will give our existing partners sufficient time to meet any new requirements.
Will the New Partner Program implementation change my incentives in FY21?
None of the changes we are implementing in FY21 will have a direct impact on partner incentives. We will continue to invest heavily in our partnerships, and, as you have seen, over time we will continue to place more emphasis on the entire customer lifecycle.
CRN 5-Star Awards: A Lot Can Happen in 10 Years
Vice President, Partner Strategy, Planning & Programs.
2012 was a memorable year. The London Olympics were stunning, with 205 nations participating. In tech, the car-share service Lyft was founded and today provides over one million rides daily. Facebook went public, purchased Instagram, and announced that it reached one billion active users.
I’m sure we all remember that 2012 was the year Cisco won our first 5-Star rating in CRN’s Partner Program Guide. The annual program guide is an IT industry touchstone for partner programs, and the 5-Star rating is reserved for companies that offer their partners “the best of the best, going above and beyond in their partner programs,” according to CRN.
Here we are, 10 years later, and Cisco partner programs have been honored with one or more 5-Star ratings every year. Our philosophy is to balance three things. First, we have to continually enhance our programs to support you in developing and delivering innovative solutions that meet our customers’ evolving needs. Second, we need to give you transparency and lead time, so you can adapt to changes in our programs. Third, we need to protect your profitability and your investments in Cisco, so you can continue supporting customers.
This year is special, not only because it has been 10 straight years, but also because in 2020 we made the biggest change to our partner programs in more than a decade. In October, during our annual Partner Summit Digital conference, we announced the new unified Cisco Partner Program, which is structured around the roles you play with customers. The program is dedicated to ensuring that you have the right resources from Cisco to drive business agility, relevance, and profitability.
Since the announcement, we have rolled out the Integrator role. Detailed requirements and benefits for the Provider role will be announced at the end of June. And we’re making progress defining the details for Developers and Advisors, which will be launched at the end of August.
I’m so proud to be part of this award-winning team that keeps raising the bar on partner programs. I want to thank the entire team at Cisco that remains committed to a strong value exchange between Cisco, partners, and customers. We will continue doing the right things to support you, earn your trust, and keep us on CRN’s winners list for the next 10 years.