Cisco Certified Partners Get To Skip Audit This Year

Some of Cisco's partners, including its Silver, Gold and Master certified partners, are required to pass an audit once per year that measures expertise and skill sets. "If partners are in good standing, we're going to waive that audit for one year to help partners save on short-term expenses," said Edison Peres, senior vice president of worldwide channels go-to-market for Cisco, last week during the Cisco Channel Exchange press and analyst conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

To be "in good standing," partners need to have the correct number of certified personnel, such as CCIEs (Cisco Certified Internetwork Engineers), and be current with their specializations and training, Peres said.

Even though partners will not have to submit to an audit, Peres recommended that they still keep current with their technology training throughout the year.

Cisco also plans to pay partners to perform network assessments and plans to cut demo equipment purchase requirements for certified solution providers, Peres said.

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Bob Cagnazzi, CEO of New York-based solution provider BlueWater Communications Group, estimated that it costs several thousand dollars to participate in the audit. "You've got to have the processes and documentation in place anyway, but assembling the presentation and bringing in all of the people involved and having them tied up for a few days, it probably costs between $7,500 and $10,000," Cagnazzi said. "The financial aspect of it is great, but for us, it's also great to have the time back."