Cisco Raises Services Bar For Partners

Cisco Systems Wednesday raised the bar on its partner program by adding services to the mix of what it requires of its certified partners.

March 16, 2006

2 Min Read
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Cisco Systems Wednesday raised the bar on its partner program by adding services to the mix of what it requires of its certified partners.

At its 2006 Partner Summit in San Diego Wednesday, the San Jose, Calif.-based networking vendor unveiled its lifecycle services inititative, which lays out best practices -- and minimum standards -- of the services required to sell and deploy a solution.

Under Cisco’s new partner program, its Express, Advanced and Master level certifications will be based on both technological competence and on an assessment of services offered, said Karl Meulema, vice president of services and channels at Cisco.

Cisco has mapped out a general list of the services that need to be provided in the process of delivering a technology solution and will share that with partners, added Liz Lawson, senior director of Cisco services channels. E-learning training modules on the lifecycle services initiative are available now, Lawson said.

Partners seeking the Express designation are assessed automatically with registration. The Advanced designation requires documentation of services provided, while the Master level requires an onsite assessment.As part of the initiative, Cisco also is roling out the Cisco Partner Lifecycle Services E-Consulting Tool, with which partners can assess their own services metrics and business processes and prepare a gap analysis of the services they are not yet providing. The tool also provides recommendations on improving services metrics, Lawson said.

Cisco also plans later this year to roll out an engagement planning tool on its partner web site that will chart specific projects and map out which services should be provided and point out additional services opportunities for partners.

The company also changed how it compensates its own services sales staff to make it easier for Cisco solution provider partners to offer co-branded services. Cisco sales people now will be paid the same for selling Cisco services and co-branded services, Meulema said.

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