News Release

Cisco Announces First Services Specialization to Identify Channel Partners Delivering Value-Added Professional Services

New IP Telephony Services Specialization Recognizes Channel Partners having Advanced Expertise to Deploy Complex, Large-Scale, IP Telephony Solutions
Oct 01, 2001

SAN JOSE Calif., October 1, 2001 - Highlighting its commitment to identify channel partners capable of delivering value-added professional services, Cisco Systems, Inc., the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, today unveiled its first Services Specialization. The new IP Telephony Services Specialization provides a structured training roadmap and exam-based, verification process to identify and recognize channel partners with the advanced expertise to deploy complex, large-scale IP telephony solutions.

"As IP telephony 'crosses the chasm' into the mainstream, it is being deployed in much larger, more complex environments that require more in-depth expertise as well as professional services capabilities," said Surinder Brar senior director of Worldwide Channels at Cisco Systems. "Our IP Telephony Services Specialization is designed to recognize channel partners who have developed advanced services to capitalize on this new growth opportunity."

"We are very excited that Cisco is putting a formal program in place to recognize partners who have the advanced services expertise in specialized technology areas," said Bill Nachtigal, executive vice president and chief technology officer, ThruPoint. "We will certainly apply for the IP Telephony Services Specialization, since it will formalize our status in the marketplace for IP telephony services, which we have been providing for the past two years."

Building on the foundation of the recently revised IP Telephony Technology Specialization, the IP Telephony Services Specialization adds the combination of proven technology-specific and customer satisfaction experience with added personnel requirements to identify channel partners with advanced expertise, such as project risk assessment and mitigation, and milestone and work breakdown schedules. Channel partners can currently earn an IP Telephony Services Specialization by meeting or exceeding the necessary, personnel, proven experience, customer satisfaction and lab requirements outlined by Cisco.

Services Specialization Prerequisite

As a prerequisite to becoming IP Telephony Services Specialized, the channel partner must have already met the revised IP Telephony Technology Specialization requirements. Cisco recently modified its IP-Telephony Technology Specialization by increasing the job role requirements from three to six. Cisco made the revisions to its Technology Specialization to provide channel partners with the additional training and knowledge to successfully plan, design, implement and support IP telephony solutions. Meeting the revised IP Telephony Technology Specialization requirements will earn channel partners 40-points toward a Cisco certification.

Effective October 15, 2001, all new IP Telephony Technology Specialization applicants can pursue the revised requirements that include the following six job roles: an account manager, a project coordinator, a systems engineer, an operations specialist and two field engineers. Current specialized IP telephony channel partners have until their annual renewal date to comply with the modified requirements. For more information on the Cisco revised IP Telephony Technology Specialization go to

Additional Resource Requirements

The IP Telephony Services Specialization increases the total personnel requirements from six, in the revised IP Telephony Technology Specialization, to thirteen. The new Services Specialization requires channel partners to fulfill the following additional job roles with qualified individuals: an engagement manager, two data design engineers, a voice design engineer, a project manager and two field engineers. These additional resources enhance the channel partners' technology specific expertise, enabling them to deliver more advanced IP telephony services and support complex, large-scale IP telephony deployments.

Channel Partner Experience and Customer Satisfactions Requirement

When applying for the new IP Telephony Services Specialization, a channel partner must provide a minimum of six IP Telephony reference accounts. Two of the reference accounts are required to include PBX migration or integration deployments and two must include the deployment of Unity unified messaging. All six of these reference accounts will be asked to verify that the channel partner completed the deployment and will be asked to fill out a customer satisfaction survey. The channel partner must achieve an IP telephony customer satisfaction rating of 4.5 from these six reference accounts to become IP Telephony Services Specialized.

Lab Requirement

The IP Telephony Services Specialization requires channel partners to build an IP telephony operational lab. The lab enables channel partners to have on-site support and technology demonstration capabilities. To get more information on lab equipment specifics, suggested lab diagram and discounted pricing for lab equipment go to

Cisco Channel Partner Program

The new IP Telephony Services Specialization is worth 30-points towards a Certification under the recently introduced Cisco Channel Partner Program. Channel partners who wish to focus exclusively on IP telephony can now earn 70 specialization points by completing the revised IP Telephony Technology and Services Specializations, allowing them, provided they meet the other requirements, to qualify for Gold Certification status.