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The 411 on Cisco Express-level specialization makeover and VIP 31

May 01, 2018

The 411 on Cisco Express-level specialization makeover and VIP 31

All former Cisco Express designations were retired and moved under different tracks

Effective Nov. 15, 2017, Cisco ended the following Express-level and Advanced-level specializations:

  • Express Collaboration Specialization
  • Express Service Provider Specialization
  • Express Foundation Specialization
  • Express Video Specialization
  • Express Networking Specialization
  • Small and Midsize Business (SMB) Specialization
  • Express Security Specialization
  • Express Security IPS
  • Express Security Web
  • Express Security Email
  • Express Security NGFW
  • Advanced Unified Computing Technology

It replaced the former program with the Express Specialization program, which comprises the following six tracks:

  1. Network Express
  2. Collaboration Express
  3. Video Express
  4. Security Express
  5. Data Center Express
  6. Service Provider Express

The former Express designations were migrated to the tracks listed above, and partners who had previously earned one of the now-retired specializations were grandfathered into the new tracks. “The program change brings several benefits to Cisco partners,” says Robert Young, Cisco technology consultant, advanced solutions, collaboration & enterprise networking, partner technical enablement, Ingram Micro. “Previously, a partner would earn one specialization, and there was often confusion about which one to pursue next. With the new program, it more closely parallels the education system, where becoming a registered partner is like earning your high school diploma or GED. Obtaining Express levels is like earning your associate degree; it shows a basic understanding of a specific technology discipline. To become an Advanced-level partner, which is comparable to earning a bachelor’s degree, it often takes 100+ hours and several months to achieve. The highest specialization level, Masters, is like earning a master’s degree. Under the previous program, after a person earned their “associate degree,” they often found that the courses didn’t count toward a “bachelor’s degree,” and they had to start from scratch. With the new program, it’s much more unified.”

Maximize your specialization pursuit with VIP 31

In addition to showing your customers that you have expertise in Cisco technologies, architectures and solutions, Cisco rewards partners pursuing specializations (and certifications) through its VIP (Value-Incentive Program). VIP 31 is now open, and the 3-month enrollment period runs from April 29, 2018, to May 25, 2018. VIP is offered to Cisco Specialized, Certified, Designated and Authorized partners in all customer market segments. Partners can earn rebates up to 15% based on sales of eligible SKUs (see all eligible SKUs) sold over a six-month period.

Partners who want to learn more about Cisco Express Specialization and VIP 31 should contact the Cisco MD in their territory: NortheastSouth, Central or West.