Cisco Expands Learning Portfolio with New Certifications
Cisco is expanding its learning portfolio with new business architecture training and certifications designed to develop skills, tools and best practices to help partners them establish linkage between the San Jose-based vendor’s technology solutions and customer business needs.
The new Cisco Business Architecture Analyst Certification is intended to extend a general awareness of business architecture principles and provides a methodology for uncovering a company’s business goals. These desired outcomes could then be bridged to the technology solutions.
The Cisco Business Architecture Specialist Certification is intended to build upon the foundational skills and knowledge assessed at the Analyst level with a focus on change management and the creation of a customized transformation roadmap.
Cisco’s Business Architecture Practitioner Certification expands upon the Specialist level by validating a candidate’s mastery in leveraging tools, methodologies and best practices to bridge IT solutions with the organization’s business goals. Participants will be assessed for their ability to create and map the customer engagement journey to deliver tangible business outcomes and value.
“As Cisco helps customers transform their businesses, we’re leveraging our expertise and leadership to address both technology and talent concerns across the industry,” said Tejas Vashi, senior director of product strategy and marketing at Cisco Services. “Understanding business architecture is key as business transformation continues, because successful organizations will increasingly rely on professionals who can foster flexibility and cross-functional collaboration to deliver optimal business outcomes.”
These new offerings broaden Cisco’s Business Transformation portfolio initiatives, launched in April 2017, with the introduction of the Customer Success Manager certification.
This initiative will likely help to address critical talent needs that are well documented within the tech industry. The company quotes recent analyst reports saying that only about 15 percent of organizations feel they have the right talent in place to support digital transformation.
Sophos Expands Global Channel Program to Support Cloud Transitions
Sophos, a UK-based company, focused on network and endpoint security, has expanded its partner program, adding training, certification and financial incentives that will help channel partners migrate towards cloud-focused customers.
“Partners see a big opportunity to help customers secure their public cloud deployments and they want to continue to receive the same benefits that they get through traditional sales models set up with their vendor partner programs,” said Kendra Krause, vice president of global channel at Sophos. “As customers increasingly adopt cloud computing – either all-at-once or methodically over time – partners need a strategic business model that includes innovative security technology, reliable vendor training and support, and financial incentives.”
A Partner can participate at one of two levels: a Professional level for partners who focus on consulting and selling services and an Expert level for those who also have deployment services for customers. The Expert level features enhanced lead sharing for partners, due to their ability to provide pre- and post-sales support as customers deploy, run and manage applications in Azure or AWS.
Other benefits include a rebate program and specialized training.
As cloud technologies become more pervasive in a wide variety of customer sets, vendors will continue to adjust their programs to optimize their partners’ ability to respond to these opportunities.
Ruckus Updates Channel Program to Reward Key Partners
Ruckus, a San Jose-based division of Brocade, announced it has condensed its partner program into two tiers to better recognize and incentivize top performing partners. The program also gives distributor and solution provider partners the opportunity for increased access to Ruckus’ wired and wireless products, enhanced sales enablement tools and visibility into customer leads and requirements.
In addition to its current strong Hospitality and MDU specialization programs, Ruckus is also announcing channel programs focused on Smart City, Large Public Venue and Education to recognize and reward partners that offer unique capabilities.
The specialization programs provide partners with targeted access to complete solutions that deliver robust networks with seamless connectivity using Ruckus wired and wireless products. The specialized programs are available to global Elite Partners in the Ruckus Partner Program.
“We are simplifying our programs to make it easy to engage with Ruckus, provide access to our diverse portfolio and give partners the opportunity to boost their profitably with rich incentives,” said Raelyn Kritzer, senior director of worldwide partner programs, Ruckus. “Our specialization programs give partners the opportunity to use our leading-edge technologies and demonstrated success to lead in markets such as Hospitality/MDU, Smart City, LPV, Education and other key verticals.”
Channel value propositions are becoming increasingly verticalized, and vendors are recognizing the need to reward partners who come to the table with vertical expertise, and can open doors to new sales opportunities.