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Cisco Evolves Channel Partner Program to Align with Market Opportunities


Enhanced Program to Maximize Reseller Growth, Profitability and Differentiation.

CISCO PARTNER SUMMIT, SAN DIEGO, Calif., March 15, 2006 - Cisco Systems® announced today that it is evolving its award-winning Channel Partner Program to align with changing customer requirements and market growth opportunities.

“As intelligence migrates into the network, the network is rapidly becoming the platform for all communications. This market transition is expanding the total addressable market for Cisco® and its partners,” said Keith Goodwin, senior vice president for Worldwide Channels at Cisco. “To capture this dynamic market opportunity, Cisco and our partners must lead, evolve, and grow together.”

The enhanced Cisco Channel Partner Program will assist and reward partners who develop the technology breadth to deploy broad, integrated network solutions and the technology depth to deploy advanced security services, Unified Communications applications and other highly specialized solutions. The program will also incorporate the Cisco Lifecycle Services approach to help partners successfully deploy, operate and optimize Cisco solutions, which can influence profitability and strengthen customer relationships. To help ensure a smooth migration, Cisco partners will have until March 2008 to complete the transition to the enhanced program requirements.

“Cisco’s evolving partner program gives partners the opportunity to profit from their investment in both breadth of technology offering and depth of expertise, while recognizing the changing demands of customers,” said Alastair Edwards, senior analyst at Canalys, a U.K. headquartered research and consulting firm. “But this is also a wake-up call to partners: those who fail to evolve their own business models will find themselves falling further behind those who can differentiate around advanced technologies and integrated solutions.”

In his keynote address later today at the Cisco Partner Summit 2006, Goodwin will also unveil plans to roll out the information technology industry’s first offer-based channel program strategy. Over the next year, Cisco will launch three new channel partner programs that will assist and reward channel partners who deliver global resale, outsourcing and managed network service offerings to customers. These new programs will complement the existing Cisco Channel Partner Program, which primarily supports local resale offerings, and will map to the distinct offerings that Cisco partners are delivering to the market.

“Cisco is one of the few companies that invest in partner development much like product R&D. Time and again the ’channel labs’ deliver for Cisco,” said T.C. Doyle, director of intelligence at Amazon Consulting, a Mountain View, California, research and consulting firm. “The offer-based program is another progressive channels development from Cisco. It distinguishes Cisco as a program innovator that treats partners as individual companies while providing them additional reasons to view Cisco as something more than a network equipment company.”
Driving Technology Breadth, Depth and Services

“The Cisco team has been working closely with partners for the past 18 months to map out the evolution of our value-based program,” said Edison Peres, vice president for Technology Sales and Programs at Cisco Worldwide Channels. “We strongly believe that the direction we are taking will create opportunities for growth, differentiation and profitability for our partners.”

Cisco is evolving its program to help channel partners meet customer demand for technology skills breadth, advanced technology skills depth, and lifecycle services capabilities.

* Technology Skills Breadth: Cisco Gold, Silver and Premier Certifications are evolving to reflect a partner’s breadth of skills across key technologies. Cisco Silver and Premier Certified Partners will be capable of delivering networking solutions with integrated security, wireless local-area networks (LANs), routing, LAN switching and, optionally, Unified Communications. Cisco Gold Certified Partners will represent the highest level of integrated infrastructure capability - with capabilities in routing and switching, security, wireless LAN, and Unified Communications.

* Advanced Technology Skills Depth: Cisco specializations will now reflect a partner’s depth of expertise in a technology. Cisco is offering three specialization levels where a partner must demonstrate greater sales, technical and service capabilities for each level: Express, Advanced and Master. A new Master Specialization brand will recognize partners with the highest-qualified practice in a given technology and help partners further differentiate their business. Over the next year Cisco will launch its first two master specializations, the Master Unified Communications Specialization and the Master Security Specialization. Six core specializations will be available: Express Foundation (Security, Wireless LAN, and Routing and Switching), Express Unified Communications, Advanced Unified Communications, Advanced Security, Advanced Wireless LAN, and Advanced Routing and Switching.

* Lifecycle Services: Cisco is also incorporating lifecycle services content as a key component of all specialization training. By working with partners to complement their existing services with Cisco’s repeatable, proven processes and tools, partners can gain opportunities to increase profitability, improve productivity, improve customer satisfaction, and reduce deployment risk. Cisco will continue to reward partners for investing in certifications and specializations, accelerating the growth of advanced technologies (the Value Incentive Program), developing new sales opportunities (the Opportunity Incentive Program), selling Cisco networking equipment as a part of a solution to business problems (the Solution Incentive Program), and migrating an installed base through a trade-in rebate (the Trade-In Accelerator Program).

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Cisco Systems, Inc., (NASDAQ: CSCO), is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Information about Cisco can be found at For ongoing news, please go to

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