Touchbase has become Cisco's first Australian Master Unified Communications partner.
Master is Cisco's highest partner certification level. The networking giant has 12 master-certified partners worldwide. Touchbase has also qualified for the specialisation in the UK, making it one of the first integrators with certifications in multiple geographies. It is also looking to gain master accreditation in the US and Asia.
Local business leader, Andrew Fisher, said it made a multimillion-dollar investment to achieve the specialisation. Certification criteria included annual training in product and implementation work as well as services and support, demonstrating capabilities through customer references, running the technology in-house, annual on-site audits and assessments. Master partners also need to have an Authorised Technology Provider (ATP) stamp and qualify for the Advanced specialisation in their chosen technology. Touchbase is certified in Unified Contact Centre Enterprise and Advanced Unified Communications.
Fisher said achieving Master status was indicative of its commitment to Cisco and its sophisticated understanding of the vendor's technology set.
"We feel Cisco's products in the contact centre space are exceptional so we're concentrating our efforts on that," he said. "We've spent the money to make ourselves a highly skilled organisation and expect this will be a differentiator for us in the market."
Touchbase beefed up its investment in Cisco 12 months ago after parting ways with former vendor, Avaya. Since then, the local team has also achieved Advanced Premier Partner status and a silver accreditation. It is now working on securing ATPs in Customer Voice Portal and Rich Media Communications.
Cisco introduced master and advanced accreditation programs in March last year. Regional channel manager, Jeff Sheard, said Touchbase's certification was timely given growing customer interest in Unified Communications.
"It's exciting from our point of view to have such an experienced and well qualified resource out there fulfilling that demand for Unified Communications," he said. "Touchbase has gone through a transformation and positioned themselves at the forefront of UC with this certification."
Sheard said several channel partners were working to achieve master specialisations.
"We see this as a way of differentiating an organisation against other vendors as well as other Cisco partners," he said.