Cisco Gold Partner Carousel Industries differentiates itself with Cisco Master Specializations.

Lynn Haber

November 1, 2017

3 Min Read

Rhode Island-based Carousel Industries just racked up its third Cisco Master Specialization, attaining the Master Security Specialization, the company announced Wednesday. The Cisco partner also recently achieved a Master Collaboration Specialization and Master in the Cisco Cloud and Managed Services Program (CMSP).

When Carousel Industries acquired neighboring partner Atrion a year ago, it gained a significant Cisco practice, and continues to build on that capital.


Carousel’s Josh King

“Carousel is proud to add the Cisco Master Security Specialization to an-ever expanding list of industry certifications and specializations,” said Josh King, director, security solutions, at Carousel. “As a Cisco Gold Certified Partner, Carousel has continuously demonstrated its expertise and leadership in delivering advanced security solutions that helps our clients defend against the most sophisticated security threats and ensure successful business outcomes. Carousel clients can be assured that we provide the complete suite of security services with the full backing and support of the Cisco security team and its dedicated resources.”

Attaining the Master Security Specialization is no small feat. It requires three-and-a-half hour, on-site demonstrations, King told us. “It’s a mock customer engagement [scenario] where the whole point is to sell the entire value, soup to nuts, of the Cisco security portfolio,” he said. That includes bringing all the technologies, bringing in the threat research team, and giving the value proposition to the customer as to why they should invest in the Cisco platform.

The Cisco Master Security Specialization has been around for many years but got a refresh a few years ago when Cisco ramped up its security business.

“That’s when the Master Security requirements changed and they got more difficult,” said King.

The Master Specialization is the highest skill level enabling partner organizations to support high-risk, complex projects, the vendor said. The Cisco Master Security Specialization recognizes an elite group of channel partners who have invested in the most in-depth technological skills and have demonstrated success in providing services for Cisco’s value-added security solutions. To achieve the Master Security Specialization, partners must already have the Cisco Advanced Security Architecture Specialization. In addition, stringent requirements around three categories exist: technology capabilities, sales expertise and Cisco Lifecycle Services.

Individual requirements around specific certifications are also a prerequisite for this program — namely CCIE Security, FireJumper, and CCNP Security. Partners are also required to provide several references, which indicate experience designing and deploying Cisco Security technologies in a manner which directly lead to a customer’s positive business outcomes. Finally, partners must supply evidence of service offerings, both tactical and managed, which demonstrate breadth of expertise and capabilities in security.

Carousel’s security practice is one of several focus areas for the solution provider, the others being …

… unified communication and collaboration, networking, data center and cloud.

“We take a holistic approach with our security practice because that’s what customers need … it’s not just about selling boxes in security. With a shortage of security expertise available, customers need help because they’re getting bombarded everyday with new stories about ransomware this, Equifax that, stories about companies losing people’s credentials …customers are feeling the pain,” King said.

On top of that, customers look at the security landscape – more than a thousand vendors, startups, older vendors – and get overwhelmed.

“So, if you’re a company and have a small team that wears multiple hats — do a little infrastructure, do a little collaboration, they do a little security on the side, they don’t have the expertise or the time to manage their security, even if they could get the bodies,” the Carousel security executive told us.

With its latest Cisco Master Security Specialization, Carousel differentiates itself by being one of fewer than three-dozen partner firms with the credential. It counts itself among even fewer partners when it takes into account three Cisco Master Specializations.

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About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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