Announcing Cisco’s newest business specialization for partners: The DevNet Specialization

I’m always amazed by our DevNet community. The DevNet mantra has been “Learn – Code – Inspire – Connect,” and our networkers and software developers have been living this – I’m so inspired by all of you. As much as our DevNet community has been learning and growing, so has our DevNet program. .

Last June we announced our new Cisco DevNet Certifications to complement our Cisco CCNA, CCNP, Specialist, and CCIE Certifications. We worked with Learning@Cisco to create these career certifications at the request of our community. You knew it was important to skill up on software, automation, and DevOps, but there was no way to formally test and recognize both your new capabilities and the value you provide. The new DevNet Certifications do just that. The exams will be available on February 24, 2020. Many of you have started studying for the new certifications – I can’t wait to see who earns the first DevNet certs!

DevNet Certifications

We’ve listened to you more, and I’m really excited to announce the next evolution of our program. Cisco’s Global Partner Organization has embraced DevNet for its partners. We’re formally announcing that DevNet Certified individuals will count towards a Cisco Partner’s Gold status. To achieve gold status, a Cisco Partner must have 12 Cisco certified professionals, of which 4 must be CCIEs. The other 8 can be any combination of CCNA, CCNP, and Cisco Specialists, and now DevNet Associate, DevNet Professional, and DevNet Specialists. This shows the equal importance of engineering skills and software skills in this next chapter of networking.

We’re also announcing a new Cisco business specialization for Partners – you guessed it – The DevNet Specialization. This specialization will recognize partner companies who have built and demonstrated software and automation capabilities, and have the business offers to deliver the solutions that our customers need to lead in this software-driven world.

DevNet Specialization for partnersOliver Tuszik and Susie Wee announce the new DevNet Specialization
for Cisco partners at Partner Summit in Las Vegas.

Why are we creating this?

Our customers are evolving, and they need Cisco and our partners to evolve too.

A really fun part of my job is meeting our customers, learning about their challenges and successes, and seeing how Cisco, along with our partners and DevNet developers, can help. While our customers cover a wide range of industries, some interesting patterns have emerged. Before, some of our customers were defending their businesses against born-in-the-cloud competitors with disruptive business models. Now, more of our customers are leaning forward to not just defend but to competitively grow their businesses head-to-head with their competitors by leveraging their core businesses and expanding with digital strategies that complement them.

These customers have invested in their own digital transformation over the last few years, and now they’re seeing their efforts pay off. They are evolving their IT teams to include software skills and engineering skills. They are building automating into their IT infrastructure. They have application teams talking to infrastructure teams to use DevOps practices for deploying business applications across their sites.

These customers are now asking us different questions. They’re asking us to help them automate their infrastructure and they’re asking us to help them use it to solve their business problems.

Now, one could say, “Cisco is a networking company, how can a networking company help them solve business problems?” The answer is that the network has evolved, and the new network has capabilities to address their requests.

The New Network is Programmable

Networking technology has advanced significantly over the last 5 years. The New Network is programmable, has APIs, and supports DevOps. It is capable of intent-based networking to gather telemetry from the network and use that information to provide assurance and optimize network performance. It integrates security at the network layer, using methods like network segmentation to give appropriate access and isolation by setting policies for users, devices, and applications. It brings IoT to life in industrial settings with capabilities like WiFi 6 and 5G coupled with edge computing architectures.

These capabilities of the new network make it possible to provide network automation and programmability for our customers. This allows them to deploy business applications across the network at the speed their businesses demand.

This does require a new way of doing networking, and it needs a software skillset, or should I say DevNet skillset, to fully leverage the network’s new capabilities.

Our partners are embracing DevNet

I’m happy to say that our partners are investing in developing their software capabilities and business practices. Over 9,000 Cisco partners have DevNet members, and among those partners there are nearly 50,000 DevNet members.

Partners like Natilik are using DevNet to engage in joint learning sessions with their customers, and in doing so they are seeing increased sales as a result. Take a look at this video which shows how Natilik has used DevNet to find new ways to engage with their customers and grow their business.

Hayley Knott talks about Natilik’s transformational journey with Cisco DevNet.
Hayley is nominated for a Women In Tech award. Vote now.”

Opportunity for partners

Partners have significant opportunity to provide value and differentiation for our joint customers. Cisco’s products provide new network capabilities. Customers want products integrated with their workflows as well as products integrated with the third-party applications that they use. Partners can provide these integrations to create customized solutions for their customers. Furthermore, partners can create integrated business dashboards that help customers get insights into their infrastructure and into their business, ultimately creating managed service offerings around these.

Customers want to know which partners can help them do networking “the new way.” They want a trusted partner who can give them modern solutions to help them automate their infrastructure and solve their business problems. The DevNet Specialization is created to do just that.

The DevNet Specialization for Partners

The new DevNet Specialization will recognize partners who have demonstrated software development capabilities and differentiated business practices to deliver automation, application development and deployment, security, and digital transformation using Cisco products, platforms, and APIs. Along with these benefits, the DevNet-specialized partner will have access to Cisco APIs and technologies as well as business benefits to succeed with their business offers. The DevNet Specialization for partners will be available in Summer 2020, a few months after the DevNet Certification exams are available. The details of the specialization will be published then, but at a high level, the eligibility of the DevNet Specialization will include having a number of DevNet Certified individuals, demonstrating your software capabilities, and having software and automation business offerings in the market.

The DevNet Specialization helps partners:

  • meet their customer’s digital transformation objectives using Cisco products, platforms, and APIs with advance software skills and practices.
  • demonstrate and highlight technical and programmability capabilities in APIs, application development, deployment, automation, and security.
  • leverage automation and analytics to help streamline routine tasks, strengthen their business, as well as focusing on software, DevOps, and cloud capabilities.
  • leverage the specialization and career certifications to help build and enhance their team’s capability to develop on top of Cisco platforms.
  • address short- and long-term obstacles surrounding skill shortages, by leveraging DevNet Certified professionals.
  • amplify their automation skills to deliver business outcomes beyond IT, while automating their IT infrastructure to optimize their IT operations and service offerings.

DevNet Specialization will be available to all partners (resellers, MSPs, DSIs, SIs, ISVs).

For more information about how Cisco partners can enhance their customers’ success and be recognized for their participation in DevNet, see Marc Surplus’s blog, Have You Found Your Edge?

Also, be sure to check out Julia Chen’s blog. Julia leads Cisco’s new Global Partner Transformation team which is focused on helping you, our Cisco partners, develop new capabilities to ensure we meet customer needs and continue to grow profitably by accessing new wallet share.

In closing…

Over the last 20 years, our partners led our customers through the journey of growing their businesses with networks and the Internet. Our customers are facing fierce competition and are realizing they can use the full capabilities of the new network to compete and grow their businesses. It’s an exciting time to be in networking, and I’m confident that our partners who embrace the new network’s capabilities and the new way of doing networking in this software-driven world will lead the next chapter of our customers over the next 20 years.

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Susie Wee


Cisco DevNet Ecosystem Success