2012 was a memorable year. The London Olympics were stunning, with 205 nations participating. In tech, the car-share service Lyft was founded and today provides over one million rides daily. Facebook went public, purchased Instagram and announced that it reached one billion active users.

I’m sure we all remember that 2012 was the year Cisco won our first 5-Star rating in CRN’s Partner Program Guide.  The annual program guide is an IT industry touchstone for partner programs, and the 5-Star rating is reserved for companies that offer their partners “the best of the best, going above and beyond in their partner programs,” according to CRN.

Here we are, 10 years later, and Cisco partner programs have been honored with one or more 5-Star ratings every year. Our philosophy is to balance three things. First, we have to continually enhance our programs to support you in developing and delivering innovative solutions that meet our customers’ evolving needs. Second, we need to give you transparency and lead time, so you can adapt to changes in our programs. Third, we need to protect your profitability and your investments in Cisco, so you can continue supporting customers.

This year is special, not only because it has been 10 straight years, but also because in 2020 we made the biggest change to our partner programs in more than a decade. In October, during our annual Partner Summit Digital conference, we announced the new unified Cisco Partner Program, which is structured around the roles you play with customers. The program is dedicated to ensuring that you have the right resources from Cisco to drive business agility, relevance and profitability.

The New Cisco Partner Program


Since the announcement, we have rolled out the Integrator role. Detailed requirements and benefits for the Provider role will be announced at the end of June. And we’re making progress defining the details for Developers and Advisors, which will be launched at the end of August. You can get the latest updates on the new Cisco Partner Program here.

I’m so proud to be part of this award-winning team that keeps raising the bar on partner programs. I want to thank the entire team at Cisco that remains committed to a strong value exchange between Cisco, partners and customers. We will continue doing the right things to support you, earn your trust and keep us on CRN’s winners list for the next 10 years.


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Marc Surplus

Vice President, Partner Strategy & Programs

Global Partner Sales