News Release

Cisco Launches Specialization Program to Enhance Channel Program

New Program Enables Cisco Channel Partners to Meet
Jan 19, 1999

New Program Enables Cisco Channel Partners to Meet Customers' GrowingDemand for Highly Specialized Technical Expertise

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- January 19, 1999 -- Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced its Specialization Program, the latest addition to its channel programs. The Specialization Program focuses on providing Cisco channel partners with resources for developing their expertise in specific technology-focused areas, including WAN, SNA/IP Integration, Voice Access, Security and Network Management. It fulfills the growing demand for more highly specialized channel partners who can meet the challenges poised by the number and complexity of New World technologies.

"Cisco encourages the channel to develop new business methodologies to differentiate themselves against their competitors in light of today's increasingly competitive and complex networking marketplace," said Tom Stevenson, vice president of Worldwide Channels, Cisco Systems. "The Specialization Program furnishes the channel with the tools needed to develop their core strengths to meet the complex internetworking needs of the marketplace."

"As the hardware profit opportunity for resellers continues to erode, resellers continually need to develop skill sets that allow them to offer higher margin solutions that meet evolving customer needs," said Charles Smulders, Senior Industry Analyst, Dataquest, a company of the Gartner Group. "Dataquest believes that vendors that use the channel need to play a leadership role in helping their resellers achieve these goals, if they are to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction."

Specialization Programs

Cisco's Specialization Programs will enable the channel to sell, design, install and support complex technology solutions in five key segments of the global internetworking market. The first program, WAN, is available now. The additional four programs, including SNA/IP Integration, Voice Access, Security and Network Management, will be available by second quarter 1999:

  • Network Management:
    The Network Management Specialization Program helps define and configure network management service tools to better design, manage and audit networks, track network faults and manage network inventories.

  • Security:
    The Security Specialization Program enables the channel to expertly deliver complete Cisco security solutions that span Security Policy, Firewall and Virtual Private Network technologies, as well as Intrusion/Detection product installation and methodology.

  • SNA/IP Integration:
    The SNA/IP Integration Specialization Program assists channel partners with accelerating the migration of SNA networks to TCP/IP-based networks with Cisco solutions.

  • Voice Access:
    The Voice Access Specialization Program focuses on the deployment of voice technology, which is the initial building block in the New World of data, voice and video convergence.

  • WAN:
    Supporting Cisco's ATM and Frame Relay WAN switching and data-voice integration solutions, the WAN Specialization Program is focused on ensuring a level of expertise in the growing WAN switching segment of the global internetworking market.

WAN Specialization Program

With global internetworking on the rise, customers want to deliver many types of traffic - data, voice and video - over their backbone networks. Available now, the WAN Specialization Program addresses this need by ensuring that WAN specialized channel partners have the in-house expertise required to expertly sell, design, install and support Cisco's ATM and Frame Relay WAN switching and data-voice integration solutions.

"Utilizing our current capabilities, the Cisco WAN Specialization Program will provide RealTech with a focused technical discipline in which to concentrate and excel, especially with respect to our Carrier and Service Provider customers," said Mark Abolafia, managing director of the Carrier/Service Provider Group at RealTech Systems Corporation. "Becoming Cisco WAN specialized will enable RealTech to successfully offer industry-leading WAN solutions for our clients and is the first building block to growing our capability to provide converged data, voice and video solutions in the future." Cisco channel partners can become specialized after completing specific personnel, infrastructure and support requirements. For more information on Cisco channel programs, visit

Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet.

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Cisco, Cisco Systems and the Cisco Systems logo are registered trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. in the U.S. and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any of its resellers.