Cisco Expands Certification Portfolio to Drive Business Transformation
Cisco is expanding its training and certification portfolio to further support business transformation towards cloud computing, IoT, analytics, agile data centers, cybersecurity, mobility, and similar areas of focus.
The current business value certifications are intended to enhance learners’ ability to work across customer lines of business, thereby enabling IT organizations to better understand motivations and desired business outcomes, help them to architect the correct approach, and effectively communicate value.
Cisco announced that it has a pipeline of role-oriented program extensions planned throughout the next year around innovation, digital marketing and technical project management that will help create the talent required to drive business transformation.
“Business transformation is enabled by technology and driven by talent,” said Tejas Vashi, senior director of product strategy & marketing at Cisco Services. “Technology alone is not enough—skills are the bridge to digital transformation.”
A forthcoming certification for a newly defined category of Customer Success Manager (CuSM) is a key focal point of the strategy. The emphasis of this role is on strengthening customer relationships through a core set of skills to help ensure that customers achieve the desired business outcomes, to increase and expand adoption and ensure that customers realize enough value to renew contracts. This training includes a full instructor-led or virtual instructor-led program in preparation for a certification exam at the specialist level.
The customer success manager role is a very interesting development designed to plug a gap that is experienced by many vendors and channel partners – and also, by extension, the customers, themselves.
CA Technologies Launches New CA Advantage Partner Program
CA Technologies has rolled out a new CA Advantage Partner Program, introducing two new partner levels, Focus and Global, which are offered by invitation to strategic partners based on revenue commitment and expectations, including more stringent business plan requirements and higher performance thresholds. Partners participating at this level will receive extended benefits.
In addition, the new program has been adjusted for reduced complexity and expanded benefits, including a new tactic that enables partners to choose their performance rewards as either business development funds, or rebates. To encourage partners to strengthen their skills and expertise around CA capabilities, CA will provide a higher level of reward to partners who choose business development funds, which can be used toward training and practice development.
A new partner portal has also been unveiled, enhancing support for integrated marketing programs and also a self-service campaign management tool with pre-built co-branded campaigns.
“The redesigned CA Advantage Partner Program reflects [partners’] significant input with a framework and new benefits that ensure profitable and sustainable growth for both Partners and CA,” said John Eldh, senior vice president of global partner and digital sales at CA. “Our mission is to leverage our joint resources to deliver value and exceptional experiences for our customers.”
The flexibility with respect to the performance rewards is a particularly interesting development that will leave many CA partners strategizing their approach in order to maximize the positive impact.
Revised Riverbed Partner Program Targets Cloud and Digital Transformation
Riverbed Technology has announced updates to its Performance Partner Program with an emphasis on cloud and digital strategies/solutions, cloud networking (including SD-WAN, and service delivery.
These updates include a strengthened incentives package and details on the development of a suite of partner-delivered services that address SD-WAN-as-a-service, Visibility-as-a-Service, Network-as-a-Service and Branch-as-a-Service.
These announcements further Riverbed’s efforts to help drive mutual growth opportunities with partners.
“As customers continue to go digital and cloud-first, it opens up significant growth potential for our partners with Riverbed’s disruptive SD-WAN, visibility and software-defined edge solutions, along with our continued leadership in WAN optimization,” said Karl Meulema, senior vice president Global Channels at Riverbed. “Earlier this year, we also launched the Riverbed Service Delivery Platform for service providers and partners to enable their network-as-a-service strategy. Our platform approach makes us the ideal go-to-market partner in this dynamic industry.”
The Riverbed updates are essentially the go-to-market component of a technology strategy geared towards helping customers to transition from legacy hardware to a software-defined and cloud-centric approach to networking.