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Hybrid IT: a must for Cisco partners

12th June 2015
by Herman Goedman

Hybrid ITCisco is known for its well-thought-out partner program, that guides partners in their choice of market proposition. Partner programs of other suppliers often have revenue target as a requirement. Cisco however emphasizes the knowledge and capacities that are needed to sell, implement and manage complete solutions, the whole architecture.

Recently Cisco announced Hybrid IT, a new component in the partner program. What is it, why has it been added and what do partners need to do to meet the requirements?

Hybrid IT: what is it?

Cisco defines Hybrid IT as the capacity of organizations to offer cloud solutions next to the solutions that are implemented on location with the client – the so-called on premise solutions. The traditional means of automation are no longer sufficient. A partner of the future cannot solely supply on premise solutions, says Cisco. In 5 years from now a partner will live of cloud solutions. If a partner doesn’t offer cloud solutions now he will be too late further down the road.

Hybrid IT: what does it contain?

Cisco separates Hybrid IT in 4 groups:

  1. Cisco Cloud Services
    A Cisco Cloud Service is a cloud service that is developed by Cisco and that is resold by Cisco partners to their customers. Examples are Meraki, WebEx and ScanSafe. The coming months more cloud services will be added.
  2. Cisco Powered Cloud Services
    A Cisco Powered Cloud Service is a cloud service that is built by the partner or a third party (a cloud provider) using Cisco products. Examples are Hosted Collaboration Services, Infrastructure as a Service, Desktop as a Service and Hosted Security as a Service. A complete list can be found here.
  3. Cisco Powered Managed Services
    A Cisco Powered Managed Service is a management service that is completely built with Cisco products, with the management of an IT solution of a customer as objective.
  4. Cisco-Based Partner-Created Managed Services
    A Cisco-Based Partner-Created Managed Service is a management service that is partly built Cisco products, with the management of an IT solution of a customer as objective.

Hybrid IT and the Cisco partner program

From the 1st of August 2015 it is mandatory for Cisco Gold and Cisco Premier partners to meet the requirements for Hybrid IT. Cisco Select partners don’t have to meet these requirements.

A Gold partner has to offer at least one cloud service from group 1 or 2, and also at least one cloud service from group 3 or 4 to his customers. In total a Gold partner is required to offer four cloud services.

A Premier partner has to offer one cloud service and is allowed to choose from all four groups.

Sign in Hybrid IT services at Cisco

Signing in the Hybrid IT services of your organization is possible at Cisco.com under Partner Self Service (PSS) > Certification and Specialization Application. There you indicate which cloud services your organization supplies or will supply. Per chosen cloud service you will have to demonstrate possession of the following documents:

  • Marketing- and sales material
  • Service Level Agreement (SLA)
  • Periodical review process

In-house developed cloud services need to meet the requirements for Cisco reference.

Hybrid IT: which service(s) do you choose?

For a Cisco Gold partner it is most convenient to choose the three 3 Cisco Cloud Services Meraki, WebEx and ScanSafe. For a Premier partner it is most convenient to choose the Cisco Cloud Service WebEx. After all these need no development. It is however important that these services fit the proposition your organization has chosen.

Many organizations are equipped with an Network Operation Center (NOC) that offers Cisco-Based Partner-Created Managed Services. In many cases this will meet the requirements.

Consultation with the Cisco partner account manager is of great value in this matter. The account manager can provide guidance to your organization and help you to make the right choices.

My advice: keep a keen eye on the renewal date

Hybrid IT is new for many organizations. It seems very complex. But it’s really not that big a deal. In practice a lot of Cisco partners are only obliged to meet the requirements for Hybrid IT when their Gold or Premier certification is up for renewal. It is very well possible that this will only be the case in April 2016, for instance. Sooner is of course also possible. So keep a keen eye on the renewal date and take action in a timely manner.

Do you have any questions concerning my post? Please let me know!

5 Responses to “Hybrid IT: a must for Cisco partners”

  1. avatar Faisal Ghaus says:

    excellent document concise with all the necessary information

  2. Can I have samples of the following documents ?

    1. SLA
    2. Marketing/Technical description
    3. Resale process/methodology

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