Cisco Launches Master Cloud Builder Specialization
The new specialization solidifies the cloud builder partner designation into the partner program. It currently makes up more than 130 Cisco partners globally. It is meant to help partners differentiate themselves from partners without the designation, showing a certain amount of knowledge, skill and customer successes.
To achieve the new master specialization, though, cloud builder partners must be audited for their processes and procedures — the only real stepping stone. At least in part because of this, Cisco expects all of its current cloud builder partners to achieve the Master Cloud Builder Specialization, said Susheel Chitre, director of Cloud Go-to-Market for Worldwide Channels at Cisco Systems.
Cisco expects the cloud infrastructure opportunity to be valued at more than $112 billion by 2015. Although that’s less than the more than $113 billion the cloud services market is expected to be valued at, it’s still a significant opportunity for cloud infrastructure partners to capitalize on.
“Partners need to have a holsitic cloud strategy they can propose to customers,” Chitre told Talkin’ Cloud. To take advantage of the opportunity, partners will need to be able to address customers’ needs for on- and off-premise technology requirements, he said.
To attain the new Master Cloud Builder Specialization, partners will need to meet incremental changes to their existing cloud builder designation and have an on-site third-party audit to demonstrate capabilities and knowledge, garner three to seven customer references, complete the free VXI Foundation Training and have a transition plan in place.
After more than a year since Cisco announced at Partner Summit the three ways partners could play in the cloud space, the company is ready to move ahead and evolve its own cloud play, Chitre said. Last year, the company focused on helping cloud builders actually define their role, but Chitre said the market has matured and it’s time to evolve the role with the master specialization.
At the same time, Cisco also announced a new Cloud Partner Marketplace with the idea of helping partners more effectively market their cloud services. Through partner-controlled micro-sites on the Cisco cloud website, partners can reach out to customers and other partners with information about the services they provide. Not only does it provide them an outlet for reaching out to customers, it also better enables them for partner-to-partner engagements, Chitre said.