John Donovan, managing director UK & Ireland Channels at Cisco, has told Comms Business Magazine that his company is well on track to implement the new Cisco Specialisation Accreditation introduced at last year’s partner conference.
“In total we have more than 80 Gold, Silver and Premier accredited partners in the UK and presently 4 out of 32 Gold partners have achieved the standard ahead of their renewal anniversary with the majority of others well on the way,” commented Donovan.
The new Cisco Specialisation requirements introduced for Gold partners includes four key specialisations; Unified Communications, Routers & Switching, VPN Security and Wireless LANs.
Donovan continued, “March 1st is the anniversary on the launch of the two year migration to the new Cisco partner program. From that date, any renewal of a certification will be under the terms of the new program. Thereafter we have a whole year in which to account for all the partner renewal anniversary that follow.
Each Monday my team and I assess the progress of partners as their renewal date approaches. We look at their training, exams and anything else they need to do to get the new specialisations. As well as the Specialisations, partners also need to demonstrate their technical capability in terms of the number of CCIE’s they have, the LAB facilities they have and their 24×7 support structures. All of these are audited before we renew any certification.”
There have been one or two partners we have been concerned about because they were leaving matters to the last minute but we have managed to give them some special attention to get them through.”
Donovan suggested that one of the lessons to be leant by other partners is to plan ahead to make sure everything is completed on time.
“Some of the training courses required can be very well subscribed and difficulties may be found in getting places. The further in advance the partners can plan their training the better. No-one has fallen off the program because they could not make the dates. We are also monitoring the same issues for our Silver and Premier partners.”