Managed Services Powerhouse Computex Achieves Cisco Gold Quad Master Status

Computex Technology Solutions has joined the very intimate group of Cisco Gold Quad Master partners, having earned Master-level certifications in Collaboration, Security, Cloud and Managed Services.

Computex Technology Solutions has become a Cisco Gold Quad Master-level partner, a status that fewer than 10 solution providers in the world have achieved.

Houston-based Computex, already a Cisco Gold Partner, now stands even further out from the large pack of Cisco partners with multiple Gold-level certifications in four different technology segments, said Faisal Bhutto, Computex's executive vice president of enterprise networking, cloud and cybersecurity.

It's increasingly important for partners to show their customers that they are fluent in a variety of IT products and services because technologies today are very interconnected, according to Bhutto. "You cannot talk about data center without talking about security, or networking, or even cloud being a major part of that discussion," he told CRN.

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The Cisco Gold certification is a stringent partner level that requires a partner to earn at least four CCIEs, including a CCIE in Enterprise Networking and Security Architecture, which are mandatory. Partners can then choose two more Advanced Architecture Specializations in areas such as Collaboration Architecture, Data Center Architecture or Service Provider Architecture Specialization to qualify for Gold certification. Gold partners must also be able to resell at least four Hybrid IT Services and demonstrate a "measurably high level" of customer satisfaction and must provide Cisco Lifecycle Services to customers, according to the San Jose, Calif.-based tech giant.

Cisco unveiled its Master partner level about a decade ago that today still only includes an exclusive group of specialized partners that have the most in-depth technology skills. These partners have also all successfully supported high-risk and complex technology projects in areas such as collaboration, security, data center and cloud technologies. Cisco Master partners also earn higher-level incentives.

Cisco Gold Quad Master partners, similar to the audits that Master-level partners face in one specific area, have to pass a stringent, third-party evaluation from Cisco in which their technical and sales competencies are tested. Computex is now a Master in Collaboration, Security, Cloud and Managed Services, and just recently passed the technical audit for Enterprise Networking, a track that was introduced last year.

"From an exclusivity standpoint, there are less than 16 partners in the world that have four Master certifications and a Cisco Gold [partner level]," Bhutto said. "It's a very small group. Not a lot of partners have made the investment to get these specifications that Cisco rewards partners with that gives partners more recognition."

Bhutto said that Computex learned a lot from its journey to Cisco Gold Quad Master. The company had to shore up its technical resources and skill sets as it went through the audits. This process directly benefits Computex's customers, he said.

"The process truly made sure we have checked all the boxes with our portfolio," Bhutto said. "Being able to start off a conversation with a client that is looking for a Cisco solution that we are a Cisco Quad Master partner with these specific competencies, it just sets you apart right off the bat."

The designation will also help Computex bring on and retain more top-level talent, a common roadblock for many solution providers, Bhutto said.

Most of the highest-level Cisco partners are very large solution providers or systems integrators, such as CDW or WWT, according to Bhutto. "You won't find too many regional partners with this many badges," he said.