Cisco has released new role requirements for the Integrator and Provider roles in its partner program and provided updates on the progress of the developer and advisor roles.
The company says it will post additional updates with full eligibility criteria for developer and advisor roles in Q1 FY22, and they will go live in Q2.
Several updates have been made to the four roles since last year when Oliver Tuszik, head of channel for Cisco, first acknowledged the many disparate components of the tech giant’s existing partner program and announced the company’s plans to boil down the structure of the decade-old program to four key areas: Integrator, Provider, Developer, and Advisor.
The new Cisco partner program, which was unveiled at the Cisco Partner Summit Digital on Oct. 28 allows partners to focus on one role, or all four—whatever makes the most sense for their business. Each role features “Select”, “Premier” and “Gold” levels that come with their own incentives and benefits for partners.
Requirements for Integrator role
The Integrator role describes partners selling Cisco technology and services, adding their value to solve customer business challenges. The investments made towards building Cisco practice by each current Cisco partner will remain relevant and will continue to count toward achieving Select, Premier, and Gold program levels.
The changes, which were recently announced by the company include:
- The deadline to achieve Customer Experience Specialization for Gold and Global Gold is extended to April 7, 2022: To meet the rapidly increasing demand for integrated solutions with support throughout their lifecycle, as well as to assure customers that all Cisco integration partners have the resources to support them, the company says all gold-level Integrators will now have achieved the Customer Experience Specialization by April 7, 2022.
- Stronger differentiation between Select and Premier levels with updated Premier requirements: Cisco announced it is further increasing differentiation for the integration partners and distinguishing them from the select level by qualifying the premier-level Integrators for either two advanced architecture specializations or one advanced architecture and one business specialization. The company says additional rewards will follow premier achievements, including VIP, Perform Plus and marketing benefits.
- Continuous Learning (CL) changes mean more flexibility and lower administrative burden/costs: CL will remain to be a part of the program and all CL credits will count toward the Integrator role levels in general so they can focus on core skills to serve customers better.
Requirements for Provider role
The requirements for providers or Cisco partners to achieve recognition based on the value they deliver as managed and as-a-service providers have also been firmed up by the company.
On June 30, 2021, updated eligibility requirements for all three levels were announced. Gold and premier providers will now be differentiated for their excellence in offering Cisco-powered services and lifecycle support for customers. In exchange, the company says it is increasing its investments in provider partners, with predictable, programmatic pricing; deal registration for managed services; more flexible consumption options; dedicated investment and business development funds; technical support enablement; and co-marketing.
Existing providers will have until August 1, 2022 (day 1 FY23) as a grace period and then meet the new criteria at their FY23 anniversary. Similarly, new applicants to the provider role can do so with the current eligibility criteria before August 1, 2022, any audit in FY23 will use the updated eligibility criteria.