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Cisco Rolls Out New Partner Programs

On the first day of Cisco’s Partner Summit, the company made several announcements, including a new Software Partner Program and the next generation of the Cisco Cloud and Managed Services Partner Program.

The Cisco Software Partner Program provides enablement resources, incentives, benefits and rewards. New roles under the program include software lifecycle advisor, software consultant and software integrator.

Partners must qualify for the new role practice by completing a one-time validation to ensure they meet the core practice elements, and demonstrate business and technology knowledge for specific Cisco software. Cisco plans to offer partner enablement resources, including training, workshops and marketing support for partners to gain new competencies around software.

Cisco also expanded its Cloud and Managed Services Program (CMSP). The program is offer-based so the cloud provider’s role depends on the offer it brings to market. Partners can either be a Cisco Cloud and Managed Services Provider or a Cisco Intercloud Provider. The program also adds new cloud architectures, including the Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform, and additional Cisco Powered services, such as the new Cisco Virtual Managed services (vMS) platform. The first set of vMS will be launched in the fall of 2015.

Cisco eliminated partner program levels and dropped the requirement for partners to have one employee with Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification. The annual audit cycle also has been changed to every three years, and the current Cloud Services Reseller and Managed Services Reseller roles have been “mainstreamed” into Cisco Resale Certification.

Ingram Micro Offers Support Program for Federal Partners

Ingram Micro is offering a new sales, service and support program exclusively to channel partners focused on customers in the federal marketplace. Available as part of the Ingram Micro Federal Advantage Program, the new contract management service provides the contract management and support services needed to win and manage large, long-term government IT service contracts.

The new service offers a variety of dedicated resources, services and support offerings to make it easier and more cost-effective to meet and comply with federal contract requirements, Ingram Micro said. These resources include a new contract bid desk, contract management resources, priority service-level agreements (SLAs) and expanded technology portfolio, and a dedicated market development team. Channel partners actively involved in the Ingram Micro Public Sector Elite community receive discounted access to the new contract management service.

Avnet Expands Cloud Solutions Portfolio

Avnet Technology Solutions announced that CenturyLink Cloud, CenturyLink’s public cloud platform, is available through its U.S. and Canada VAR partners through Avnet Cloud Solutions. Avnet will offer CenturyLink Cloud VAR partners a streamlined on-boarding process and support in building recurring revenue streams.

Partners will receive access to the Avnet Cloud Toolset (ACT) to help them manage and track their customers’ cloud accounts across multiple cloud providers. ACT features cloud usage tracking and consumption-based invoicing for workloads running on CenturyLink Cloud, coupled with subscription-based workloads.

Partners can also become members of the CenturyLink Cloud Reseller Program. Benefits include technical resources, account provisioning support and high-visibility monthly reports. Avnet’s partners will own customer billing and relationships in the CenturyLink Cloud Reseller Program.

TechSelect Intros Loyalty Program

TechSelect, Tech Data’s community of IT solution providers that support small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in North America, introduced its new TechSelect Loyalty program. Members of the point-based loyalty program are awarded credits toward TDEducation training and travel credits to TechSelect events, including partner conferences and TechSelect University, based on their status of platinum, gold and silver. Points are earned based on growth, investment, engagement and loyalty.

WOW Business Joins Veeam Cloud Provider Program

WOW Business, a communications and cloud service provider, has joined the Veeam Cloud Provider (VCP) program. The Veeam Cloud Directory provides a platform for existing Veeam users to find and connect with trusted Cloud Partners, and a secure platform to backup to a WOW Business Cloud Repository. WOW Business also recently joined the Telx Cloud Xchange Ecosystem, giving customers access to its cloud-based infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), business-continuity and disaster-recovery services.