Partner Central

Gold Certification

Update

The Gold Certification is evolving to offer you more opportunities through our Channel Partner Program. New requirements, effective April 1, 2015, are in the New Requirements tab below.

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Gold Certification offers the broadest range of expertise across high growth market opportunities known as architecture plays - Enterprise Networking, Security, Collaboration, Data Center Virtualization and SP Technology. Gold Certified Partners have also integrated the deepest level of Cisco Lifecycle Services expertise into their offerings and demonstrate a measurably high level of customer satisfaction.

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Partner Benefits

Cisco Gold Certified Partners benefit from the highest level of certification-specific rewards and recognitions. Gold partners receive technical support, productivity tools, online training, marketing resources and sales promotions. In addition to branding as a Cisco Gold Certified Partner, benefits of the Cisco Gold Certification include:

Gold Certified Partners also enjoy access to many Cisco resources, including customer satisfaction best practices and tools, the Partner Education Connection, and Marketing Resources and support.

Gold partners are eligible to participate in Cisco Channel incentive Programs, with higher economic incentives than all other certification levels. Another benefit is an option to become a "Certified Host" in the Global Partner Network Program

Ready to Go?

After you gain certification, you can:

View country groupings

Looking for a different certification?

New Partner - you may become a new Gold Certified Partner by meeting the current requirements until Mar 31, 2015. Effective Apr 1, 2015, all new requirements must be met to become a Gold Certified Partner.

Existing Partner - you will need to meet the new requirements after Aug 1, 2015 when renewing your Gold Certification.

Certification and specialization are based on meeting all requirements within a given country, or country grouping where relevant. All applicants must agree to the Channel Partner Program Terms and Conditions which can be found in the Certification and Specialization Application (CSApp) tool during the application process.

Base requirements:

Specialization Requirements

To achieve Gold Certification, a partner must have three architecture specializations:

Advanced Borderless Networks Architecture Specialization

and

2 Architecture Specializations out of the 3 listed below:

*Note: Advanced Borderless Network Architecture Specialization will go end-of-sale on July 1, 2014 and will be retired on July 1, 2015.
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Certified Role Requirements

Title Account Manager Arch System Engineer Field Engineer
Collaboration Architecture CSE CCDA CCNP-Voice
Title Account Manager Arch System Engineer Field Engineer (R&S) Field Engineer (Security) Field Engineer (Mobility)
Borderless Networks Architecture CSE CCDP CCNP R&S CCSP/CCNP-Securty CCNA Wireless
or
Adv WLAN Field Specialist
CCNP Exams 642-731, 642-741
Title Account Manager Arch System Engineer Field Engineer (UCS) Field Engineer (Unified Fabric) Field Engineer (App Services)
Data Center Architecture CSE N/A N/A CCNP CCNA
Partner must have a minimum of 12 unique certified full-time employees, including minimum 4 CCIEs, and no more than 4 Cisco Sales Experts (CSEs) can be counted toward the total.

Support Requirements

Type Gold
Legal agreement Valid resale agreement or Cisco Indirect Channel Partner Agreement (ICPA) in place
Demonstration capabilities Ability to demonstrate one specialization technology/solutions at the time of audit
Customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Escalation process Required
Call Back One hour
Support lab Support lab equipment requirement for Collaborative Services partners only
Pre-Sales Support Required
Post-Sales Support Requirements based on Partner Support Agreement

Customer Satisfaction

Note: Participation in the Cisco partner customer satisfaction survey is required.
Type Gold
New Certification*
  • Thirty (30) responses required at the first measurement period (January or July**) that occurs after a full six months of certification.
    and
  • Must achieve the regional customer satisfaction target at measurement period.
Recertification
  • Minimum of 30 responses, measured twice a year (January and July**) using results received in the 12 months previous to each measurement date
    and
  • Must achieve the regional customer satisfaction target by the end of both January ** and July**

*The definition of "new" partner as it relates to the enforcement of the customer satisfaction requirement is a partner that has not been Premier, Silver, or Gold Certified within the previous six months.

** The exact Cisco fiscal year measurement dates can be found in the Partner Access onLine (PAL) tool.

Exceptions

  • Premier or Silver partners moving to Gold Certification must have 30 responses at the first measurement period after a full six months of Certification achievement and meet the theater Customer Satisfaction target.

Service Requirements

Service Attach Rate


New and renewing Silver and Gold Certified Partners are required to have a minimum service attach rate of 40 percent during the four previous Cisco quarters.

For partners who have not previously been Gold or Silver Certified, the Service Attach Rate requirement may be met by achieving a rate of 40 percent within the past 12 months.

Revenue from Services


New and renewing Silver and Gold Partners must generate at least 15 percent of revenue from services during the two previous Cisco quarters.

For example:

  • Total product revenue (from the networking products division) for the past two Cisco quarters
  • Total services revenue (from all services sold, including Cisco SMARTnet and professional services)

Revenue from
Services%=

Total revenue of service sold (Managed, Professional Service, & SMARTnet)


Total product revenue of the networking division


X100
=15%
Revenue from services must meet the following requirements:
  • The percentage of revenue from all services (includes all vendors, and does not have to be 100 percent Cisco-specific) against the product revenue must be at least 15 percent
  • Partners must provide documented evidence that they have met or exceeded this requirement

Measurement must be specific to the division engaged in providing networking services or solutions in the country applying for certification.

The service requirements apply to both Cisco branded services (CBR, packaged services, pay-for-performance) and Partner branded services (CSSP, SIS, Co-Brand, Collaborative Technical Services).

Additional details on how to calculate the Service Attach Rate and Revenue from Services can be found in the Cisco Channel Program Audit & Policies Document.

Before Silver or Gold Certification or re-certification is awarded, an independent firm will conduct an audit in order to ensure that your company has met all program requirements.

Additional information and requirements may be found in the Audit Policies Document

Note: If a partner does not remain in compliance with the applicable specialization or certification requirements, Cisco reserves the right to revoke the specialization or certification. Partners must notify Cisco of non-compliance promptly, but in no event more than 30 days after the partner first becomes aware of its non-compliance.

Upon receipt of such notice, the partner may qualify for an extension of time in which to renew its compliance with the applicable specialization or certification requirements. The Partner's failure to provide such notice may disqualify the partner from receiving such an extension. If no extension is granted or if the partner fails to comply with the certification or specialization requirements by the end of the extension period, Cisco reserves the right to revoke the applicable specialization or certification immediately. Additional information regarding non-compliance may be found in the Audit Policies Document listed above.

Gold Certification Requirements Effective April 1, 2015

Certification and specialization are based on meeting all requirements within a given country, or country grouping where relevant. All applicants must agree to the Channel Partner Program Terms and Conditions which can be found in the Certification and Specialization Application (CSApp) tool during the application process.

Specialization Requirements

Partners need four of the following specializations for Gold Certification:

  • Advanced Enterprise Networks Architecture (launching September 2014)
  • Advanced Security Architecture (launching September 2014)

and

Two Architecture Specializations from the list below:

Hybrid IT Requirements

Partners must be able to resell four Hybrid IT Services from the following list:

1. Cisco Cloud Service or Cisco Powered Cloud Service

and

2. Cisco Powered Managed Service or Cisco Based Service*

and

3. Two additional offerings from the list below:

  • One Cisco Cloud Service
  • Cisco Powered Cloud Service
  • Cisco Powered Managed Service
  • Cisco Based Service*

* Cisco Based Service Definitions:

Cisco Based Managed Service: An offer where the key features of the service are provided by Cisco device(s), or a network-based service is built on Cisco infrastructure AND the service includes monitoring and management of Cisco equipment owned or leased by the customer (Cisco endpoints or customer premises equipment).

Cisco Based Cloud Service: A cloud-based service built on Cisco reference architecture. Examples can be found in the Design Zone.

Read the Program Evolution Q&A for more information.

To sell the hybrid services, you will need to secure a provider contract(s) and ensure the following are in place:

  • End customer SLA
  • Marketing and/or technical description
  • Hybrid IT resale lifecycle management process

Certified Role Requirements

  • Advanced Enterprise Networks Architecture (launching September 2014)
  • Advanced Security Architecture (launching September 2014)
Title Account Manager Arch System Engineer Field Engineer
Collaboration Architecture CSE CCDA CCNP-Voice
Title Account Manager Arch System Engineer Field Engineer (R&S) Field Engineer (Security)
Data Center Architecture CSE N/A N/A CCNP
Title Account Manager Architecture System Engineer Field Engineer
IP NGN Architecture CSE CCDA CCNP-Voice

Partner must have a minimum of 12 unique certified full-time employees, including a minimum of four CCIEs, the new Business Value Practitioner and no more than four Cisco sales experts (CSEs) can be counted toward the total.

Support Requirements

Type Gold

Legal agreement

Valid resale agreement or Cisco Indirect Channel Partner Agreement (ICPA) in place

Demonstration capabilities

Ability to demonstrate a technology or solutions specialization at the time of audit

Customer service

24 hours a day, seven days a week

Escalation process

Required

Call Back

One hour

Support lab

Support lab equipment requirement for collaborative services partners only

Pre-Sales Support

Required

Post-Sales Support

Requirements based on Partner Support Agreement

Customer Satisfaction

Note: Participation in the Cisco partner customer satisfaction survey is required.

Type Gold

New Partner Certification*

  • Thirty (30) responses are required at the first measurement period (January or July**) that occurs after a full six months of certification.
    and
  • Low Score Follow-Up requirement in the Partner Access onLine (PAL) tool

Recertification

  • Minimum of 30 responses are required, measured twice a year (January and July**), using results received in the 12 months previous to each measurement date
  • Low Score Follow-Up requirement in the Partner Access onLine (PAL) tool

*The definition of "new" partner as it relates to the enforcement of the customer satisfaction requirement is a partner that has not been Premier, Silver, or Gold Certified within the previous six months.

** The Cisco fiscal year measurement dates can be found in the Partner Access onLine (PAL) tool.

Exceptions

  • Premier partners moving to Gold Certification must have 30 responses at the first measurement period after a full six months of certification achievement.

Service Requirements

Service Attach Rate

New and renewing Gold Certified Partners are required to have a minimum service attach rate of 40 percent during the four previous Cisco quarters.

For partners who have not previously been Gold Certified, the service attach rate requirement may be met by achieving a rate of 40 percent within the past 12 months.

Revenue from Services

New and renewing Gold Partners must generate at least 15 percent of revenue from services during the two previous Cisco quarters.

For example:

  • Total product revenue (from the networking products division) for the past two Cisco quarters
  • Total services revenue (from all services sold, including Cisco SMARTnet and professional services)

Revenue from
Services%=

Total revenue of service sold (Managed, Professional Service, & SMARTnet)


Total product revenue of the networking division


X100
=15%

Revenue from services must meet the following requirements:

  • The percentage of revenue from all services (includes all vendors, and does not have to be 100 percent Cisco-specific) against the product revenue must be at least 15 percent
  • Partners must provide documented evidence that they have met or exceeded this requirement

Measurement must be specific to the division engaged in providing networking services or solutions in the country applying for certification.

The service requirements apply to both Cisco branded services, packaged services, pay-for-performance, and partner branded services (Partner Shared Support, Collaborative Technical Services).

Additional details on how to calculate the service attach rate and revenue from services can be found in the Cisco Channel Program Audit & Policies Document.

Before Gold Certification or re-certification is awarded, an independent firm will conduct an audit to help ensure your company has met all program requirements.

Note: If a partner does not remain in compliance with the applicable specialization or certification requirements, Cisco reserves the right to revoke the specialization or certification. Partners must notify Cisco of noncompliance promptly. Partner must notify Cisco within 30 days from when noncompliance has been identified.

Upon receipt of such notice, the partner may qualify for an extension of time in which to renew compliance with the applicable specialization or certification requirements. The partner's failure to provide such notice may disqualify the partner from receiving an extension. If no extension is granted or if the partner fails to comply with the certification or specialization requirements by the end of the extension period, Cisco reserves the right to revoke the applicable specialization or certification immediately. Additional information regarding noncompliance may be found in the Audit Policies document

How to Apply

  1. Your company must be a Registered Partner before applying for any specializations or certifications. Visit the Become a Registered Partner page if you have not registered for the Cisco Channel Partner Program.
  2. In the Partner Self-Service (PSS) tool, verify that the relevant certified individuals who will be fulfilling job roles are associated to your company with their Cisco (CSCO) testing number.*
  3. In the Certification and Specialization Application (CSApp) tool, allocate the individuals who will be fulfilling specialization roles, then complete and submit the certification application.
    If you encounter any issues in the application or renewal process, please open a case at Customer Service Central

*Cisco typically receives exam results within five to 10 days from its respective testing agencies.

How to Renew Your Certification

You have 90 days prior to your certification anniversary date to begin the re-certification process. In the 90 days prior to your anniversary date, your status will change from Approved to Re-Cert in the Certification and Specialization Application (CSApp) online tool and you will receive a notification by e-mail. Once you verify that you are in compliance with current specialization requirements, please submit your application in the CSApp tool. You will not be able to submit your application unless all requirements are met.

If you encounter any issues in the application or renewal process, please open a case at Customer Service Central.

Failure to submit a re-certification application 30 days after your anniversary date will result in loss of the certification.