Cisco case study: Simplifying two digital ecosystems with EMaaS

How Cisco served a million developers and grew its partner ecosystem by 40%

Marcia Harlow

Cisco Global Solution Partner Program Strategy and Operations


The story behind Cisco’s world class digital ecosystems

Cisco is one of the most important technology companies of its time. But they didn’t get to this vaunted position on their own.

In fact, Cisco has built out over 220 products with the help of a massive network of partners and developers. The thing is, ecosystems this big don’t orchestrate themselves.

So after nine successful years with a robust partner and developer program, Cisco decided to change tack so they could get even better at giving their community all the technical and business resources they needed.

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Their first big decision was to split the community into two parts. Cisco DevNet offers developers the technical information and support they need. And the Solution Partner Program (SPP) gives businesses the oriented support they need to innovate faster.

Their next big decision – to take an Ecosystem Management-as-a-Service approach to serving them.


What Cisco and their communities needed

Cisco’s original program – Cisco Developer Network (CDN) – was focused on solution partners and their technical community. It worked well for the first few years but after a while it started to become tedious for partners to maneuver through the program.

As Cisco’s technology portfolio grew, so did the complexity of their website. It became harder and harder to tell which products were the best fit for integrations. And it became harder to figure out even how partners could integrate them.

Both partners and developers needed critical information. But they needed a simpler way to get it.


How EMaaS helped

Constellant started working with Cisco to create and support the back end portal for both the developer program, DevNet, and the Solution Partner Program.

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The infrastructure was built to support a broad range of capabilities including:

  • Single sign-on
  • Unique registration
  • Integration with partner databases
  • API documentation
  • eCommerce
  • Support tools
  • Ingestion of product data
  • Intelligent routing for sign-off of approved technology
  • A robust certification process

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The impact of Cisco DevNet and Solution Partner Program (SPP)

Today, DevNet and Solution Partner Program (SPP) are deservedly recognized as best-in-class developer and partner programs around the world.

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Over 1 million developers have joined the DevNet program. And the Solution Partner Program (SPP) has grown by 40% since being split out.

Combined, both programs have grown by an order of magnitude.

The biggest difference – Cisco can keep expanding its tech portfolio, with many more applications integrating with the existing technology, so it can keep offering its rapidly growing customer base even more options.

Most important, Cisco can remain a leader in its segment because it’s doing so much to support its partner and developer communities as they innovate faster and more effectively.

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Responsive image Responsive image By leveraging Constellant’s dpEngine software platform, we were able to scale our solution partner ecosystem and generate more revenue while delivering consistent partner experiences. In addition, Constellant’s Managed EMaaS offering gave us the domain expertise to augment our team and improve ROI at the same time.
Marcia Harlow - Cisco Global Solution Partner Program Strategy and Operations Responsive image Responsive image
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