Today, Cisco introduces a newly-defined Small and Midsize Business (SMB) Specialization, an improved and combined version of the existing Small Business and Small Business Foundation Specializations. This evolution captures several market and technology trends critical to your customer’s needs, and positions existing and future Cisco SMB Specialized partners to succeed in the midmarket space.

The SMB Specialization curriculum has been revised to mirror the architectural go-to-market strategy employed by Cisco’s Advanced-level specializations. This new curriculum positions our SMB partners to sell across all technologies. The major focus for the enablement tracks are Borderless Networks, Collaboration, and Data Center, as well as updated Services training. And for the first time, Cisco introduces enablement focused on Cloud , SMB-level Cisco TelePresence® products and formal virtualization and data center switching.

What else is changing with the new SMB Specialization? 

With ease of use in mind, Cisco has reduced the number of training courses from approximately 15 courses to four. The new courses continue to be available at no cost on the Partner Education Connection. Worldwide learning partners and distributors will also adopt the training to produce instructor-led boot camps that our partners will be able to leverage

The program exams have also been updated. Please visit the SMB Specialization site to learn more about the program exam requirements.

What about existing benefits?

All SMB Specialized Partners continue to be eligible to apply for the Select Certification, participate in the Cisco® Opportunity Incentive Program (OIP), and receive Cisco Value Incentive Program (VIP) Express benefits. Cisco will continue to modify the eligible product SKU list for VIP Express as new product families are introduced into the program.

I encourage you to visit the SMB Specialization site to learn more about the new SMB Specialization. You’ll find an FAQ, At-a-Glance, and a presentation to help you get you up to speed on the new SMB Specialization.

What do you think about these changes to the SMB Specialization? Please share your feedback with me below.


Steve Benvenuto

Sr. Director, Business Development

Worldwide Partner Organization