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Cisco Launches Cloud Partner Initiative

Count Cisco Systems as the latest major IT provider to launch a cloud partner program.

The networking giant rolled out its Cisco Cloud Partner Program (CPP) at the company's annual Cisco Partner Summit, taking place this week in New Orleans. Cisco has established three tracks for partners: Cloud Builder, Cloud Provider and Cloud Reseller.

"Cloud Computing is transforming the way organizations consume and deploy IT resources. For our channel partners, cloud computing opens up additional market opportunities for them to design and build clouds or offer cloud services to the market," said Ralph Nimergood, vice president of datacenter and cloud for Cisco's Worldwide Partner Organization, in a pre-recorded video statement. "Our program provides a well defined roadmap to assist partners in determining what roles they want to play with Cisco in the cloud market."

Here's a description of the three tracks:

  • Cloud Builder: This is for partners who, as the name implies, design and implement private clouds for customers. The partner with the Cloud Builder Badge must hold sales and implementation competencies in cloud infrastructure and cloud management, and it requires a Cloud Professional Services Practice.

  • Cloud Provider: These are partners that want to offer public cloud services. "Our program supports these partners by enabling their Cisco-powered cloud service creation with enablement tools and reference architecture support," Nimergood explained. "Both the Cloud Builder and the Cloud Provider tracks offer many benefits, including branding, offer creation support, our Jumpstart financing, market development funding and access to channel partners as a route to market." Cisco's own salesforce will be compensated on the Cisco-powered cloud offerings that its providers sell to encourage engagement with the Cisco's salesforce, he added.

  • Cloud Reseller: These are partners who OEM or resell the Cloud Providers' offerings. In concert with the Cloud Provider, Cisco will recruit and train partners and support them in their demand-generation activities, Nimergood said.

 The program will roll out in the summer timeframe, Cisco said.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on March 03, 2011 at 11:58 AM


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