Cisco has used its Partner Summit to unveil a number of extra specialisations that should put its channel in a position to support customers with their emerging demands.
The vendor has stepped up its efforts around hybrid cloud and hybrid working as it looks to support partners selling cross-architectural solutions (see box below for full list).
Cisco is keen to help partners build on existing investments they have made with the vendor and provide them with an opportunity to differentiate their capabilities.
Among the fresh specialisations, support for hybrid working and cloud is central. Cisco’s customers are starting to develop different office environments and, to support that, want their networking infrastructure to deliver greater levels of flexibility.
Hybrid cloud computing, networking and software are three further options for partners that want to reassure customers they have the skills required to support digital transformation projects.
There is also a recognition that security is crucial, with the Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) specialisation giving resellers an opportunity to add that string to their bow.
Partners can gain the six specialisations by showing they have increased knowledge and expertise in the specified area, and once completed will be rewarded for going through the process.
The six latest offerings are part of four categories of specialisation on offer from Cisco: architecture, solution, Cisco powered service and business.
“These new specialisations are aligned with the types of solutions and expertise customers are demanding. They demonstrate to customers that they are working with the best partners in the industry,” said Marc Surplus, vice-president, partner strategy and programmes, in Cisco’s global partner and routes to market sales organisation.
“We’ve designed the solution specialisations to complement partners’ prior investments in Cisco and to build on their current expertise so that partners can further differentiate themselves in the market,” added Surplus.
The channel has consistently shown an appetite for specialisations as a way of standing out from the crowd, as well as providing their staff with opportunities for training and personal development.
“Specialisation is ranked number one as the initial critical partner selection criterion for 74% of customers,” said Anurag Agrawal, chief global analyst at Techaisle.
“By tying solution specialisations to customer buying criteria, Cisco makes it easier for customers to identify which partners to work with,” he added.
The Partner Summit was also used as a venue to roll out more security capabilities, with the vendor continuing to build a security cloud that will provide protection across both public and private clouds.
“Security is no longer optional. It is critical to every major initiative an organisation may have,” said Jeetu Patel, executive vice-president and general manager of security and collaboration at Cisco.
“We are committed to delivering more value for our partners by continuing to drive innovation and making it easier to do business with Cisco. Partners can land key products and then expand across the Cisco Secure portfolio to increase profitability while enabling customers to securely achieve their digital transformation goals.”