LAS VEGAS — It was only a matter of time before Cisco’s developer program DevNet made its way into the vendor’s partner program.
Cisco today announced its newest business specialization for partners: The DevNet specialization.
Created in 2014, DevNet was a response to the growing capabilities of networking technologies that allowed people to give appropriate access and isolation by setting policies for users, devices, and applications.
Last year, Cisco announced that DevNet had exceeded 500,000 registered members. Now, it’s becoming an integral part of Cisco’s partner ecosystem.
“One of the hallmarks of the Cisco partner program has always been the fact that it’s value based, not volume based,” said Marc Surplus, Cisco’s vice-president of strategy, planning and programs. “We are really encouraging our partners to move to an outcome driven software driven model, in which they’re innovating on top of Cisco using software development to differentiate them.”
It gives partners market recognition and differentiation, explained Surplus.
“Increasingly, customers are looking for partners that can automate the network differently and build on top of Cisco,” he added.
Devnet certification exams will be available February 24, 2020.
During a partner panel, Jonathan Barouch, chief executive officer and founder of Local Measure – a global Cisco partner that produces SaaS applications for the tourism and hospitality sectors – said DevNet has been a significant differentiating factor for the company.
“It reaffirmed the idea that you can’t keep selling boxes,” said Barouch.
While Cisco is in no way suggesting partners that have found success selling Cisco’s routers and switches suddenly stop, DevNet is a clear sign of where the growth opportunities exist, explained Surplus.
“In many instances you’ll probably have to integrate third party software solutions, or your own IP into Cisco products through our own APIs. So we’re encouraging partners to invest in those capabilities because we think that’s where the future growth will be,” he said.
DevNet Certified individuals will count towards a Cisco Partner’s Gold status. To achieve gold status, a Cisco Partner must have 12 Cisco certified professionals, of which four must be Cisco expert-level certifications (CCIE or CCDE) . The other eight can be any combination of CCNA, CCNP, and Cisco Specialists, and now DevNet Associate, DevNet Professional, and DevNet Specialists. Cisco says this shows the equal importance of engineering skills and software skills in this next chapter of networking.
The DevNet program has become a significant differentiating factor for Cisco, indicated Steven Schuchart, principal analyst of enterprise networking for GlobalData Plc.
“No one else has programs like DevNet…software companies might, but in infrastructure, Cisco is alone in this and they realized the value of programming and they pushed it to every part of the business. Susie Wee has been instrumental in that,” he said, referring to Susie Wee, vice-president and CTO of DevNet. “If you go back 10 years, Cisco was selling boxes and transitioning to selling solutions. Now, the thing that makes the Cisco solution worth having isn’t in the box – the box helps – but the value is in the software.”
DevNet exams will be available February 24, 2020. The DevNet Specialization for partners will be available in Summer 2020. Cisco says the details of the specialization will be published then, but at a high level, the eligibility of the DevNet Specialization will include having a number of DevNet Certified individuals, demonstrating software capabilities, and having software and automation business offerings in the market.