Cisco has expanded its portfolio of specialisations available through the company’s world-class partner program.

The six new specialisations are tied to Cisco customer priorities and represent fast-growing market opportunities for Cisco and its partners in areas where Cisco has been investing and innovating.

Cisco solution specialisations are designed to showcase partner value to customers and represent the type of solutions partners are selling today. They reflect how partners are using cross-architectural solutions to solve some of their customers’ biggest challenges in today’s hybrid work world–challenges such as balancing an organisation’s security needs with the flexibility employees want, providing the best digital experience or consistently delivering a secure user experience from anywhere.

Aligned to massive market opportunities, specialisations are designed to protect and optimise partner investments with Cisco, offer more opportunities for differentiation, and recognise the co-innovation that is happening between Cisco and its partners.

“Specialisation is ranked number one as the initial critical partner selection criterion for 74% of customers,” says Anurag Agrawal, chief global analyst at Techaisle. “By tying solution specialisations to customer buying criteria, Cisco makes it easier for customers to identify which partners to work with.”

Partners that achieve solution specialisations are recognised and rewarded based on the value delivered to customers. The requirements for each specialisation are tied to knowledge and experience, allowing partners to capitalise on their existing investments with Cisco. The six new solution specialisations added to Cisco’s partner program include:

* Full-stack Observability (FSO) – Showcases expertise in centralising and correlating application performance analytics across the full IT stack, including integrations across AppDynamics, ThousandEyes, Intersight, and Secure Application; demonstrates expertise in prioritising actions to deliver superior customer experiences, drive revenue streams, and accelerate digital transformation.

* Hybrid Work from Office – Recognises Cisco partners for their skills and experience helping customers evolve traditional on-site and off-site work models, with solutions that power hybrid work, enabling people to work safely and securely from home, the office, and anywhere in between on any given day or time.

* Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) – Highlights partners’ ability to help customers to securely enable the growing universe of roaming users, devices, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps without adding complexity or reducing end-user performance.

* Hybrid Cloud Computing – Showcases partners that provide customers with simple, secure hybrid cloud computing experiences at home, in the office, or anywhere.

* Hybrid Cloud Networking – Recognises partners that securely and efficiently connect and manage customers’ data, workloads, and applications across data centers, edge, and multiple clouds.

* Hybrid Cloud Software – Demonstrates expertise in managing operational complexity by helping customers streamline and unify IT operations with secure, hybrid cloud management software.

The new solution specialisations are one of the four categories of partner specialisations available to qualified Cisco partners to demonstrate their expertise to customers, including:

* Architecture specialisations: demonstrate deep product expertise in specific technology areas.

* Solution specialisations: demonstrate that a partner excels at delivering value with Cisco solutions, including cross-architectural offers prioritised by customers.

* Cisco Powered Service specialisations: convey partner proficiency in delivering managed services and as-a-service offers.

* Business specialisations: focused on horisontal business practices that are essential to supporting customers’ business goals.

“These new specialisations are aligned with the types of solutions and expertise customers are demanding. They demonstrate to customers that they are working with the best partners in the industry,” says Marc Surplus, vice-president: partner strategy and programs in Cisco’s Global Partner and Routes to Market Sales organisation. “We’ve designed the solution specialisations to complement partners’ prior investments in Cisco and to build on their current expertise so that partners can further differentiate themselves in the market.”