Since we announced the new Cisco Partner Program last October, we have been making rapid progress to fully operationalize all the roles and levels in the program. Today, we are announcing role requirements for the integrator and provider roles and providing updates on the progress of the developer and advisor roles. We will post full eligibility criteria for developer and advisor roles in Q1 FY22, and they will go live in Q2.


The Cisco Partner Program provides a unified framework that recognizes and rewards partner investments and how they create and deliver value to customers. It’s based on four primary roles partners are playing with customers—integrator, provider, developer and advisor. Because Cisco gold-level certification has long been the mark of the most highly skilled Cisco partners, we are offering gold status for all four roles, and we’re differentiating more distinctly between gold, premier and select.

The new Cisco Partner Program

Cisco has the best partners in the industry, and our new program validates their expertise and excellence in a way that customers can easily recognize. As we up-level our value exchange in the new program, here are the highlights.

Integrator Role – Increasing Differentiation for our Largest Set of Partners

Historically, the majority of our customers want integrated solutions with support throughout their lifecycle. To assure them that our integration partners have the highest acumen and resources to support them, all gold-level integrators will have achieved the Customer Experience Specialization by April 7, 2022.

We’re also strengthening the value of premier-level integrators to distinguish them from the select level by qualifying for either two advanced architecture specializations or one advanced architecture and one business specialization. Of course, to augment the value exchange between Cisco and partners, additional rewards will follow premier achievements, including VIP, Perform Plus and marketing benefits.

To assure customers that our partners have the most current skills to serve them, continuous learning (CL) is part of the program. Now, we’re streamlining our CL requirements by decoupling them from individual specializations. Going forward, all CL credits will count toward the integrator role levels in general, alleviating an unnecessary administrative burden on partners and allowing them to focus on the skills they need most in order to serve their customers.

Provider Role – Purpose-built Recognition to Support Evolving Customer Expectations

Because customers are looking for greater flexibility in how they purchase and consume technology, as well as faster time-to-outcome with their IT initiatives, Cisco and our partners are making huge strides to offer more solutions as managed services and SaaS. So we have created the provider role which is purpose-built to recognize partners for the value they deliver as managed and as-a-service providers.

We have firmed up the requirements for partners to receive recognition based on their investment in delivering managed service and as-a-service solutions based on Cisco. Gold and premier providers will be differentiated for their excellence in offering Cisco Powered services and lifecycle support for customers. In exchange, we are increasing our investments in provider partners, with predictable, programmatic pricing; deal registration for managed services; more flexible consumption options; dedicated investment and business development funds; technical support enablement; and co-marketing.

Developer Role – Expanding Customer Choice and Partner Differentiation

As Cisco customers seek to get the most from their Cisco investments, we are embracing a broader ecosystem of partners who build solutions on top of our platforms. These partners create more advanced capabilities for customers, so we are making our program for developers a full-fledged part of our new program, with Cisco brand distinction and expanded recognition and rewards.

We are accelerating developers with more technical training and tools, solution development, co-marketing, access to Cisco Sales resources, and the DevNet Specialization. With the developer role, all Cisco partners can more easily find opportunities to work together and integrate each other’s offerings into their solutions.

Advisor Role – Formalizing the Value Exchange with Transformational Influencers

Cisco has always worked with firms that plan business transformations for clients and, in the process, influence IT requirements and purchases. Now, we are looking to expand our relationship with partners who advise customers on complex challenges and broaden our scope to include consultants offering more targeted, often industry-specific, services.

The new partner program fully integrates advisors into the wider Cisco partner ecosystem with a role that was designed especially for them. As with all roles in the Cisco Partner Program, we scale our level of recognition and rewards to the partner’s level of investment and demonstrated expertise. For advisors, we are providing technical and strategic development resources (e.g., proofs of concept), cooperative business development, co-sales and access to Cisco events.

The new Cisco Partner Program gives our customers transparency into the best partner network on the planet. We are moving briskly ahead to execute on our long-standing principles: protecting our partners’ existing investments in their Cisco practice while layering in new capabilities to address changing customer needs. We provide as much lead time as possible for partners to prepare for changes to our program and the rewards that go with it. At the end of the day, partners are looking for a simple and profitable partnership that includes a partner program that aligns to and supports their evolving business and allows them to tap into Cisco’s world-class incentives.


Learn more about the Cisco Partner Program, and get ready to make the transition as these roles take effect.


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Marc Surplus

Vice President, Partner Strategy & Programs

Global Partner Sales