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With CIOs increasingly focused on digital transformation, technology providers must evolve from selling products and features to delivering business outcomes. Software is at the core of this transformation, requiring new skills and competencies for partners. At its annual Partner

Summit, Cisco today announced partner program innovations that give Cisco partners a competitive advantage, while enabling them to expand into profitable, new areas.

Cisco is evolving its partner program to help its partners access new buying centres, deliver platform based outcomes, and grow recurring revenues. Program innovation includes a new partner specialisation recognising software development capabilities and partner incentives rewarding partners for lifecycle adoption.

“We believe differentiation and growth are intrinsically linked,” said Marc Surplus, vice president, partner strategy and programs, global partner organisation. “Everything we are announcing is designed to allow our partners to build unique capabilities and establish their competitive edge.”

New partner program elements announced at Cisco Partner Summit include:

DevNet goes mainstream for partners

As the network evolves beyond connectivity, it’s opening up new opportunities for partners to solve their customers’ business problems and automate their infrastructure. And Cisco partners are stepping up to the challenge. They’re embracing new skills and building new practices around software, DevOps,

IoT and automation. Today, more than 50,000 network engineers from across 9,000 partners are already members of Cisco’s developer community, DevNet.

  • DevNet specialisation: Now, Cisco is mainstreaming DevNet with the introduction of a new DevNet Specialisation for partners. The new DevNet specialisation will recognise Cisco partners with proven software development capabilities and business practices around network automation, DevOps, and digital transformation.
  • Towards gold certification: DevNet career certifications will count towards eligibility for a partner Gold Certification and the DevNet specialisation. The new Cisco DevNet training and certifications provide software skills for network engineers and software developers who work with Cisco technologies and APIs. “Our customers are asking us different questions. They’re asking us to automate their infrastructure and leverage new network capabilities to solve their business problems,” said Susie Wee, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Cisco DevNet. “This is creating opportunities for Cisco partners with software skills to build unique offers and accelerate business innovation for their customers. The new DevNet Specialisation will reward and differentiate the partners who are embracing the new era of networking and can help customers succeed in their digital transformation journeys.”

Rewarding across the lifecycle

As partners shift to a recurring, subscription, or annuity-based model they must adopt a lifecycle approach to customer engagement to continuously demonstrate value. Cisco is helping drive this transition with three innovative programs:

Solution starter: included in the Cisco DNA enterprise agreements, this new program offers a customer entitlement for a partner that has delivered on boarding and implementation services. This enables partners to start the lifecycle journey with their customers. Solution Starter positions partners to sell their value-added services to help their customers through the Lifecycle and realize the value of the software.

Lifecycle incentives: rewards partners for performing lifecycle activities that ensure their customers are using the software in their network, taking advantage of the features and realising business outcomes.

Use accelerator bonus is an incremental bonus for partners’ further rewarding activation and building out customer use cases in our DNA technologies, available now until the end of Cisco’s Q3FY20.

Cisco is committed to evolving its partner programs to empower partners to create unique partner value for customers and hone their competitive edge.