This past October at Cisco Partner Summit Digital we announced the largest change to the Cisco Partner Program in over a decade.  Marc Surplus, our Vice President of Strategy, Planning and Programs followed up with a great blog that if you have not had a chance to see, I would recommend you read.  We are going to continue to keep you informed on all the latest changes with a monthly series of blogs from experts within the Cisco Global Partner Organization – starting today with the latest on the Integrator Role.

We began this journey by evaluating our current partner programs against the overall Cisco strategy and the needs of our partners.  We realized that we had to make some significant changes to ensure that you could continue to maximize your Cisco practice while shifting to the changing market.  We are not asking you to start over.  The new program is designed to support you by providing more flexibility and differentiation, by recognizing your investment in new practices and skills, and ensuring that the benefits of investing in the Cisco Partner Program continue to contribute to an overall profitable practice.

We also recognized that we could not wait to get some of these changes into your hands, even if that meant the program would be rolled out in phases.  We began with some immediate changes to our Integrator role.  At Partner Summit, we added Business Specializations as options for the Integrator Certifications and removed the Hybrid IT requirement, as this has become a natural part of your business.  Read the announcement. You can also view a complete list of benefits to the Integrator Role. (These links require a Cisco Partner login.)

We are excited to announce the next set of changes coming to our Integrator Role:

  • Authorizations transitioning to Specializations. This will provide more flexibility for you in how you meet the Integrator Certification requirements.
  • Retiring the term “Express”. We are rebranding our specializations to better reflect the investment you are making.  Express is not reflective of your expertise and we will now simply call this level “Specialized”.  Moving forward, the three levels of our integrator specializations will be, Specialized, Advanced Specialized, and Master Specialized.
  • Customer Experience Specialization Requirement. For partners who are Gold Integrators or those pursuing this level, beginning January 7, 2022, just under 13 months from now, the Customer Experience Specialization will be a requirement. The customer success practice is an essential component to supporting a complete customer lifecycle and those who have adopted this practice are seeing incredible returns.

Coming in the next quarter, stay tuned for more information about the Provider role and the future of CMSP, as well as new details of two new formalized roles in our program, Developer and Advisor.  For a sneak peak of some of the changes to the Provider role, view the ebook and the latest blog from Grace Lo, Director, Cisco Partner Program – Provider.

Thank you for your partnership and let us know what you think in the comments section below!


For more information, take a look at the latest Program Notification


Brian Overmyer

Senior Manager

Global Partner Organization