The developer role launches with 1,600 solutions already on the Cisco price list.

Jeffrey Schwartz

November 29, 2021

3 Min Read

The recently relaunched Cisco partner program supports two new roles with the addition of developers and advisers in the fold. Cisco on Monday officially added the new developer and adviser roles to its partner program.

Outlined earlier this month at the Cisco Partner Summit, adding developers and advisers aims to lift the entire partner program. It marks a major step in the revamp of the Cisco partner program, which went live a year ago.

The new program originally included two roles: integrator and provider. The new developer role brings about 1,000 partners with Cisco DevNet certifications and IT consulting firms into the program. These are developers that have built or integrated solutions with the Cisco platform using the company’s APIs.

Some of the partners are those migrating from Cisco’s Solution Provider Program, which the company is retiring. Marc Surplus, Cisco’s VP of partner strategy and programs, said partners moving to the developer and adviser roles will have access to new incentives that will launch in the coming two quarters.


Cisco’s Marc Surplus

“We’re going to have a highly curated experience for them,” Surplus told Channel Futures. “They can slot themselves into the level of certification that makes the most sense for them. And then they can start taking advantage of a whole new set of incentives that we’ve improved to, to reward the partners for the investments they make.”

Surplus didn’t elaborate on the new incentives and rewards. More notable is that incorporating these new roles is part of Cisco’s shift from architectural to solution specializations.

In a post earlier this month, Surplus explained that Cisco’s shift to solution specializations reflects customer priorities. Among them are secure and agile networks, hybrid work, security, future internet solutions and optimized application experiences.

Developer Role

On day one, hundreds of partners have moved into the developer role from the now-retired Solution Provider Program, Surplus said. The developer role launches with 1,600 solutions already on the Cisco price list.

Cisco-Partner-Levels.jpgThe developer role will open an expanded market for partners that have developed solutions optimized for DevOps environments, Surplus said. “It gives them a huge growth opportunity and market coverage,” he said. “And when you pull the full weight of Cisco’s go-to-market behind your application, if it’s approved and on our price list, there’s a lot of weight behind that.”

New partners can benefit by expanding the market for their capabilities, while Cisco can give them a boost, Surplus added.

“For the partner playing the developer role, it opens the entire strength of the Cisco selling team, and our incredible go-to-market with all of our other partners,” he said.

Adviser Role

The role of advisers includes consultants, industry analysts and those who historically have played a role in guiding customers. Their role could be pre-sale, post-sale or throughout the solution life cycle, Surplus said.

While Cisco has historically worked closely with the large global consulting firms, the new adviser role targets smaller players. Cisco aims to attract consultancies that specialize in various vertical industries or have expertise in niche, but growing areas.

Uplift from Co-Selling

Surplus said the program lends itself to partners co-selling with one another. Many existing system integrators and providers already have software development practices or capabilities, he emphasized.

More than 250-plus consulting partners worked with 2,500 systems integrators during Cisco’s last fiscal year in co-sell motions, Surplus noted. When they worked together in a co-sell motion, Cisco saw nearly a three-times increase in the size of the original deal that was entered its deal registration system, according to Surplus.

“This co-selling motion really leads to greater revenue opportunity for Cisco, but more importantly, for our growing ecosystem of partners,” he said.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Jeffrey Schwartz or connect with him on LinkedIn.


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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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