News Release

Cisco Introduces New Channel Specialization Program for Integrating New World Networks with Legacy Mainframe Computers

Cisco's Specialization Program Equips Channel with Expertise
Feb 03, 1999

Cisco's Specialization Program Equips Channel with Expertise to Accelerate Migration of Legacy Networks

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- February 3, 1999 -- Cisco Systems, Inc. today introduced a new Specialization Program that equips the channel with expertise for integrating New World Internet Protocol (IP) networks with legacy mainframe computers. This program, designed to help the channel deliver value by coupling highly specialized skills with Cisco's leading technology, is part of an overall channel specialization program, announced on January 19, 1999.

Systems Network Architecture (SNA) is the legacy protocol running over 65 percent of enterprises' mission-critical applications on some 33,000 mainframes worldwide. SNA/IP integration is the first step in the New World convergence of data, voice and video onto a single network. Industry analysts estimate that only 20 to 25 percent of enterprises worldwide have begun the integration of their SNA and IP networks. According to analysts, the SNA/IP integration market will grow to a $4.5 billion opportunity by the year 2002 as enterprises and service providers link SNA and IP networks to streamline business processes and better serve customers.

"Cisco's new SNA/IP Channel Specialization Program delivers the skills that enterprises require to modernize their networks," said Selby Wellman, senior vice president of Cisco's InterWorks business unit. "We want to help the channel seize an excellent business opportunity and provide value to their customers."

Centron, EDS, NCR and Skyline are among the companies who have expressed interest in pursuing Cisco's SNA/IP integration Specialization Program.

"Cisco is the vendor of choice for SNA/IP solutions," said Scott Schafer, vice president of NCR Worldwide Networking Solutions. "Our customers need highly specialized services for integrating legacy and IP networks. They rely on NCR's network solution focus and relationships with leading vendors such as Cisco for the consulting, support, and project management services that deliver networks that work. Through our investment in Cisco specializations, we will build deeper strategic relationships with our customers and enhance the value to them of our networking solutions."

According to an April, 1998 study conducted by International Data Corporation (IDC), Cisco is the leading provider of SNA/IP integration technology, having captured 80 percent market share. Cisco entered the SNA/IP integration market in 1991 and offers the most comprehensive SNA/IP solutions set available today.

Cisco's SNA/IP Specialization Program

"Cisco's specialization programs encourage the channel to differentiate themselves in the marketplace and enhance their value proposition," said Scott Ferguson, director of channel certification programs at Cisco. "The SNA/IP specialization program equips the channel with the skills and expertise needed to meet enterprises' complex internetworking needs."

Cisco's SNA/IP Integration Specialization Program will be available during the second quarter of 1999. Channel partners can achieve two different levels of Cisco's SNA/IP Integration Specialization after completing specific knowledge transfer, infrastructure and support requirements:

The Sales Specialization prepares partners to design and sell Cisco's SNA/IP solutions.

The Solutions Specialization prepares partners to design, sell, install and support Cisco's SNA /IP solutions.

The Specialization is an extension of Cisco's Certification Program. The Certification and Specialization Programs provide Cisco partners with the tools required to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction by enabling them to develop the expertise needed to deploy industry-leading network solutions.

Cisco Systems

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

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