Cisco has added a Global Gold tier to the top of its partner programme with five partners signed up to the new level at launch.
The Global Gold tier allows partners with certifications in different regions to access the same benefits and incentives of the Gold tier across all these areas - provided they meet certain Global Gold criteria, including $350m (£272.2m) annual revenue with Cisco.
The Global Gold criteria means partners must already have in place a certain amount of Gold and Premium accreditations in each of Cisco's territories globally (The Americas, EMEAR, APJ and Greater China). The combined figure needed is 12 Gold accreditations globally, spread out across these regions.
Partners must also hold a Global Commercial Specialisation and hit an 80 per cent services attach rate and a 70 per cent renewal rate quarter to quarter.
The new tier currently has five partners: BT; Dimension Data; Ericsson; IBM; and Orange Business Services.
Introducing the new tier, Cisco's global channel vice president Marc Surplus said in a blog post: "We've bridged the pieces of our existing Gold certification with today's global business needs to provide a simpler, scalable, and profitable global experience for our partners. Global Gold partners can now showcase their ability to deliver and support solutions as a Cisco Gold certified partner from any of their worldwide locations. Global Gold increases the value exchange with our resellers by helping them expand their customer bases.
"Their sales and technical teams can now reach across borders and support their global customers more effectively than ever before, and, while this new certification is important to our global business strategy, we absolutely remain fully committed to the partners who do the equally important work of caring for customers in their local and regional markets."
Surplus added that the new tier is indicative of Cisco's commitment to "simplify" its business processes, with more announcements set to follow over the coming months.
Christine Wolff, senior vice president of group Cisco alliance at Dimension Data, added: "As our customer base has rapidly become more and more global, we've shared our new business needs with Cisco.
"The new Global Gold certification tier will allow us to do business with Cisco and our customers at a large scale, with much simpler processes and more benefits. We can now more effectively deliver world-class solutions and services regardless of our office locations or those of our customers."
Below Global Gold is a new Multinational tier which is achievable for partners with a set of Gold and Premier Certifications in one of Cisco's regions. The Multinational tier means that partners can access their Gold incentives in the countries of these regions where they only have a lower accreditation.
With the introduction of these two tiers, Cisco will be retiring its previous Global Certification tier, with existing awards remaining valid until August 2018.
In addition to the partner programme overhaul, Cisco today announced its Enterprise Agreement, which allows customers to scale up their Cisco software usage at any time, without facing further charges.
The licence is available over three- and five-year periods and will cover Cisco's infrastructure, security and collaboration portfolios to begin with - with other capabilities set to be added in the future.
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