Cisco Launches Architecture Specialisations

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To help its global community of channel partners realise the full benefits of network-centric architectures, Cisco has announced that it is evolving its Channel Partner Program by introducing new architecture specialisations for Borderless Networks, Collaboration and Data centre.

By taking an architectural approach to networking, Cisco says channel partners can become more relevant to customers, grow more profitably and differentiate themselves from the competition. To accelerate the transition to architectural skills and capabilities, Cisco is evolving its Learning Partner Program to deliver enhanced architectural training to channel partners and customers through its global network of more than 450 Learning Partners.

Cisco is adding three advanced architecture-focused specialisations to its Resale Channel Partner Program: Advanced Borderless Network Architecture Specialization, Advanced Collaboration Architecture Specialization, and Advanced Data Centre Architecture Specialization.

Beginning in August 2012, partners must attain all three architecture specialisations in order to achieve Cisco Gold Certification. Cisco Silver Certified Partners will be required to have a minimum of one architecture specialisation, and Cisco Premier Certified Partners can have either one of the architecture specialisations or the Cisco Express Foundation Specialization to achieve certification status.

To ensure a smooth recertification process, Cisco is providing a transition period of 16 to 28 months for existing Cisco Certified Partners. The architecture specialisations do not become a mandatory requirement for certifications until a partner’s anniversary date beginning August 2012 through July 2013.

Cisco has also reduced the cost of certifications and decreased the training required to achieve the new certifications. For a new Cisco Gold Certification, the cost has been reduced by approximately $50,000, and the total training hours have been reduced by up to 25 percent.

Cisco is also offering up to $5,000 in Cisco Learning Credits for each of the first 500 partners to complete the recertification process.

Learning Partner Evolution

Cisco is announcing the evolution of its Learning Partner Program, which will feature two tracks — the Learning Partner Associate track and the new Learning Partner Specialized track. The tracks and architectural focus will help channel partners thrive in an architectural framework and speed customer adoption of Cisco’s architectural approach to networking.

In the Learning Partner Associate track, Cisco Learning Partners will focus on core technology training and preparing end-users for career certification.

In the new Learning Partner Specialized track, Cisco Learning Partners will evolve their practices to provide specialized training in specific areas of expertise mapping to Cisco Architecture Specializations.

Edison Peres, senior vice president, Worldwide Channels, Cisco, said, “As the role of the network expands, Cisco and our partners must evolve together to capture market opportunities in borderless networks, video, collaboration and data centre. The new Cisco architecture specializations recognize and build on our partners’ network advantage, enabling them to evolve their business, increase profitable growth and become more relevant to their customers.”

Mike Zanotto, chief operating officer, Skyline ATS said, “As Cisco evolves its products and services to map to architectures, partners and customers that develop new competencies in key areas such as business consulting will be positioned to thrive in this new framework. Cisco authorized training provides a solid foundation of skills and resources to enable networking professionals to design, implement and manage the latest converging technologies and deploy Cisco architectural solutions with confidence.”