Customers are asking Cisco to help them automate their infrastructure, and they’re looking to us to help them use it to solve their business problems. To meet this demand, Cisco introduced a new business specialization for partners: DevNet Specialization.
This program gives partner companies a path to build or enhance their software development practice, with an emphasis on automation and application development on top of Cisco platforms. Achieving this specialization recognizes expertise and the ability to support customers throughout the lifecycle with the right people, tools, and processes.
The DevNet Specialization benefits partners in a number of ways
- Help customers unlock the value of software automation.
Customers actively seek partners who can automate their infrastructure, connect and integrate their systems and solve their business problems.
- Get recognized for software development expertise.
This gives customers assurance that an organization understands automation and software development principles and can successfully deliver throughout the lifecycle
- Grants access to resources to build or enhance a software development practice.
Cisco partner, Miradot realized early on exactly what DevNet Specialization could mean for their business and ultimately for the success of their customers. Miradot is a consulting company with offices in Stockholm and Gothenburg. The company designs, implements and automates infrastructure within data centers, networks, and service providers.
Q&A with Miradot CEO, Marcus Lind
We recently sat down with Miradot Chief Executive Officer, Marcus Lind to learn more about their journey to becoming a DevNet Specialized partner.
Q: Why are you investing in developing your software and automation practice?
A: Automation has been our competitive edge since we started four years ago. We are network engineers that started learning how to ramp up our pace of work by using scripts. We went on to using automation engines to accomplish the same, and then even further to fully learn how to turn the infrastructure into code.
By constantly developing this knowledge area and leveraging it to help our customers on their automation journeys, we’ve successfully proven our value towards both small and large customers.
We’re a small company. We must do more with less, or else we can’t compete. By developing our software and automation practice we must, as Cisco puts it, “own our edge.” And of course, we must also love what we do. Let’s face it, repetitive tasks and manual work aren’t what drives us or our customers.
Q: What do you expect the outcome to be?
A: By developing our software and automation skills we help our customers get more value out of their infrastructure investments. This is our ideal primary outcome. For our business, this gives us the possibility for exponential growth in revenue, especially given our small number of employees, as we can reuse code, constantly improve, and do more with less.
Q: Why does the DevNet Specialized matter to your business?
A: We are always working to prove our trustworthiness to customers, show how that we deliver on promises, and that we have the skills needed for our customers success. Earning the DevNet Partner Specialization is a stamp of approval from Cisco. It helps us prove that we have the skills and processes in place which, together with our customer success stories, builds a foundation for gaining trust with new customers. By getting this recognition, we are also able to attract talent in a world where talent is sought-after.
Q: What are your customers looking for related to automation, programmability, software development and APIs?
A: Many of our customers already have, or are in the process of, investing in new technologies and infrastructure from Cisco. They usually have good knowledge of the architectures, or at least good ways of getting the training. They chose Cisco infrastructure because of the programmability, many APIs, and the ability to use DevOps tools like Ansible or Terraform.
In other words, they are aware of the direction in which they are going and why. What remains cloudy is how you get over the gigantic obstacle of going from manual tasks and processes to an automated infrastructure where applications developers, DevOps, and engineers are completely aligned. They are looking for how to get started, what tools to use, how to take the initial steps, and for someone to guide them through this challenging landscape.
Q: How will your customers benefit from your new automation practice?
A: By getting required certifications and defining our processes for delivering the high quality our customers demand, we make sure that we minimize, or in an ideal world, eliminate risk. We have been building our automation practice for several years, but the intense ramp up we have done to become a DevNet Specialized Partner is new.
From all newly gained knowledge, our customers will be seeing more value out of every hour of work we do. As we enable them to automate their IT infrastructure, they will free up resources to be put on tasks that leads to growth, business development and more value out of investments.
Q: In regard to practice transformation, what additional opportunities might open up as a result of getting DevNet Specialized?
A: We have been heavily focused on data center and cloud, which is the area in which we are getting certified and specialized. With the possibility to choose from multiple areas of certification, we can easily broaden our knowledge and evolve into more areas like Internet of Things, Enterprise, Service Provider, and more.
We already know automation in general and data center in particular. Now we have a clear path to gain the automation skills for more architectures and platforms. This gives us the opportunity to expand our engagement with current customers and pave our way into new industries. We also see the opportunity for other partners to use us for the automation-related parts of larger projects, while they focus on the underlying infrastructure.
The combination makes the offering powerful and easier to fulfill customer wishes, as our belief is that no one can be best at everything, but everybody can be the best at something.
“What really matters for the customer is quality and delivery time.
And with the DevNet Specialization, you can be certain that you have
the processes and skills needed to delivery quality on time, every time.”
— Marcus Lind, Miradot CEO