Cisco's partner boss has vowed to go on a "recruitment binge" as he looks to address a shortfall in ISVs, services players, and vertical specialists.
To help woo the ISV channel, the vendor has introduced a Solutions Partner Programme for partners to sell complementary services and offerings. The programme contains three tiers: the entry-level Solutions Partner strand, then above that Preferred Solutions Partner, followed by the top-tier Strategic Solutions Partner.
Partner offerings are also ranked in three brackets, the first being Platform-Ready Solutions. A greater degree of interoperability testing will see solutions ranked as Compatible, while the uppermost ranking is the Featured Solutions level.
Bruce Klein, senior vice president of Cisco's worldwide partner organisation, told attendees at the networking goliath's annual worldwide partner get-together in Las Vegas that he has been working to fill in "gaps" in the partner ecosystem around ISVs, software-defined services players, and vertical specialists.
"We are on a recruitment binge to really build out the partner ecosystem. We are going after ISVs and [other] new partner types," he explained. "People say ‘your competitors have been doing ISVs for 20 years – you are late to the game'. But we are doing it completely differently. We are giving them access to our network APIs."
The Cisco partner bigwig outlined that, over the past 12 months, reseller and systems integration partners have begun to appreciate the benefits of working within an enlarged community that encompasses ISVs and an array of services outfits.
"When I said this a year ago, the reaction [from partners] was ‘I'm still not seeing the value [in this]'. The feedback all of you have given me this week is: ‘Yes, I need to build out that ecosystem – I see the value'," said Klein.
He also stressed the need to cultivate the Cisco developer base, pointing to the importance of the vendor's DevNet portal, featuring communities and a "sandbox" feature.
"We have to have a world-class developer community," added Klein.
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