Cisco’s 7th annual Partner Innovation Challenge has ascended to global prominence, captivating partners from an astounding 96 countries and distributing over $3.3 million USD in collective rewards. Last year we witnessed a remarkable surge, with a 68 percent increase in new partner submissions. This is a testament to Cisco and our partners being greater together and the boundless creativity, expertise, and fervent dedication that exists within our partner technical community.

Harnessing Cisco’s open platform, partners are empowered to leverage APIs and solutions, delivering substantial value to customers while carving out their own niche in the market. At the core of Cisco’s Partner Innovation Challenge lies a mission to drive unparalleled customer experiences through innovation, choice, and exceptional people. Each year, this challenge unites us in a shared endeavor to tackle challenges, cultivate software innovation skills, and optimize business solutions and profitability on the Cisco platform.

Prizes Await the Visionaries

An esteemed panel of business and technical experts, comprised of Cisco employees and representatives, will assess submissions based on innovation and creativity (30 points), technical achievement (30 points), customer benefit (20 points), market potential (10 points), and quality and presentation (10 points). The Partner Innovation Challenge offers substantial rewards: Global Grand Prize ($200K USD), Global 2nd Place ($100K USD), and Global 3rd Place ($50K USD). Furthermore, APJC awards a total of $240K (USD), with $40K USD allocated to each of its six regional winners in ANZ, ASEAN, Greater China, India, Japan, and Korea.

Expanding Award Categories and Prizing

Cisco partners can earn additional recognition and funding for their endeavors. This year, we introduce a new award category for Artificial Intelligence (AI), featuring a $200K USD prize. With AI remaining a focal point for partners and customers alike, Cisco celebrates those who leverage this technology to generate impactful outcomes. Notably, 41 percent of last year’s submissions incorporated AI, highlighting its significance in achieving desired results. Evaluation criteria for this category will focus on innovation, impact, Cisco alignment, technical feasibility, and scalability—each weighted equally at 20 points.

In the previous year, the Partnering for Purpose award category experienced overwhelming participation, with 88 percent of submissions falling under its purview. This underscores our partners’ dedication to innovation that transcends profit, aiming instead to make a lasting, positive impact on the world. The Partnering for Purpose category offers a $50K USD prize for the best Environmental Sustainability innovation, and $50K USD within the other categories: Digital Inclusion, Employee Experience and Economic Empowerment, and Crisis Response and Critical Human Need.

Important Dates

All Partner Innovation Challenge submissions must be submitted by September 6, 2024. Evaluation will be completed by October 6, 2024, with winners announced at Partner Summit in Los Angeles, CA, October 28 and 30, 2024.

As partners continue to harness the transformative power of programmability to meet industry and customer demands, we eagerly anticipate witnessing these winners shape and evolve their groundbreaking innovations. The Partner Innovation Challenge underscores our steadfast belief in the paramount importance of early collaboration in our journey with partners and customers, transforming possibilities into realities.


For more information, please visit the

Partner Innovation Challenge in SalesConnect


We’d love to hear what you think. Ask a Question, Comment Below, and Stay Connected with #CiscoPartners on social!

Cisco Partners Facebook  |  @CiscoPartners X/Twitter  |  Cisco Partners LinkedIn


Alex Pujols

VP of Global Partner Engineering

Global Partner Sales