CCIE water cooler gossip: Cisco denies Internetwork Expert statement about its 360 CCIE training program

IE and the Cisco 360 Program
At approximately the 3:04 time mark into the Internetwork Expert (IE) Cisco 360 Program live webcast last month, IE's Brian Dennis CCIE #2210, made the following statement: "As a CLP (i.e. Cisco Learning Partner) we could not sell or market outside of North America." In regard to the above statement made by Brian Dennis of IE, the General Manager of Learning@Cisco - Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, provided the following official Cisco response:
Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn
"Cisco's 360 Learning Program does not prevent a single Learning Partner from selling or marketing outside of North America. "The Cisco program - similar to the programs of our industry counterparts - does however require all Learning Partners to meet enhanced requirements before they can sell abroad. These requirements were put in place at the request of our customers and include providing local staff, and ongoing mentoring programs as well as local language support in some countries. We believe, as do the majority of our partners, that these enhanced requirements will ensure a stronger and more consistent level of quality for our customers worldwide."
Internetwork Expert Official Response to Cisco's Denial: Brian McGahan Triple CCIE #8593 provided the following official Internetwork Expert response to Cisco's denial of IE's statement:
Technically Jeanne’s statement is correct in that the program "does not prevent a single Learning Partner from selling or marketing outside of North America." However what is omitted is what the "enhanced requirements before they can sell abroad" exactly are. In our conversation with the Learning@Cisco program we were told, and I quote: "In regards to offering ILT (i.e. Instructor-Led Training) via distance learning, the Learning Partner Program requires learning partners to apply in each of Cisco's theaters in which they wish to operate. To be accepted, they must have a physical presence, including staff and instructors, in that theater. This is intended to bolster the local presence of learning partners and is consistent with Cisco's philosophy on globalization. "Offering ILT via web based technologies allows for a geographic reach that, as a sole offering, is problematic. Your current business model includes substantial overseas training offerings which [Internetwork Expert] has previously stated is often delivered in the on-line live format. "The geographic reach of your current practice would not be allowed in the learning partner program unless you met the in-theater requirements in each theater in which your students would receive the training." The above quotes were taken from an email sent by Loyd Thompson Jr of Cisco addressed to Internetwork Expert with the subject RE: Internetwork Expert Partnership, dated 29 Oct 2008. Furthermore, the Cisco Learning Partner Program FAQ for Cisco Learning Partners states the following: Q: My organization would like to deliver training globally, what is the process? A: Learning Partners wishing to deliver training globally must have a contract within each theater where training is to be offered. In addition, all program requirements (staff, curriculum requirements, etc.) must be met within each theater where the contract is executed. Q: If a Learning Partner is global can they use personnel from one theater to meet the requirements for another theater? A: No, all personnel must reside in the theater in which they satisfy their organization’s program requirements and where the contract was executed. In other words, in order for us to continue to offer affordable and accessible live online and self-paced classes, we would have to staff an office in every single theater worldwide, assuming Cisco would give us permission to do so. While theoretically this doesn’t prevent a Learning Partner from selling outside of North America, it doesn’t make sense for an online training company like Internetwork Expert to change to this legacy brick-and-mortar training model. Additionally these requirements would only increase our prices without adding any additional benefit to our customers. If Cisco had allowed us to keep our current customer base, and our highly successful online and self-paced training model, we would have gladly entered the program. Our primary focus is what is best for our customers. Since the program is not in our customers’ best interests, it’s not currently a viable option for us. We've had many customers thank us for not entering the program, but not a single one has told us that they wished we had entered the program.

IPexpert Official Response to Cisco's Denial: Wayne Lawson CCIE #5244 - who is the Founder and President of IPexpert a CCIE training competitor of IE, provided the following response to Cisco's denial of IE's statement:

"We agree with Jeanne's comments. "When we were a learning partner, we had the opportunity to sell outside of North America into other 'theaters' if we desired to do so. "The catch is that there are revenue requirements that we would be obligated to commit to in order to have permission to sell products/courses in each theater/region. For example, if Cisco required IPexpert (as a Cisco Learning Partner) to pay them $150,000 per year in 'royalties', meaning their percentage of products/courses sold, that amount would need to be paid even if we did not sell a single product in each theater. "As Matt Brooks pointed out in his blog, the statement that Brian Dennis made regarding their 'inability' to sell outside of North America was misleading. The real concern for Learning Partners is being obligated to meet or exceed the required revenue target... or else."

Finally, Cisco did not respond to a request for "clarification" of the royalty payment claim made by IPexpert's Lawson above. Related stories: Cisco collaboration: Could it all just be bunk? CCIE water cooler gossip: Will Cisco announce buying CCIE trainer Internetwork Expert tomorrow? CCIE water cooler gossip: CCIE lab training scholarships available CCIE water cooler gossip: Tolly's review of IPexpert vs. Internetwork Expert CCIE labs View more CCIE water cooler gossip.


Do you think IE was justified in making their statement about not being allowed to sell or market outside North America?

Brad Reese
http://www.BradReese.Com Quotes on New Cisco Equipment One year warranty on refurbished: Cisco Aironet Cisco Power Supplies Cisco VoIP Gateways One year warranty Refurbished Cisco

  
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