What’s Next with the NextWave Program Framework – Breakaway 1=5

For more than 10 years, our award-winning NextWave Program has been the catalyst for partner change, guiding our partners to success by enabling them to capitalize on market disruption. Our success has been, and will continue to be, driven by our ability to listen, learn and act on partner feedback to prepare for what’s next. Over the next 12 months, we will unveil the most comprehensive set of NextWave enhancements in our company’s history. These enhancements kick off today with the unveiling of our NextWave program framework, the foundation upon which we will build our partner blueprint for success.

Together with our partners, we have an opportunity to capitalize on what’s next in cybersecurity. Fueled by the rapidly growing hybrid workforce that requires access to applications anytime, anywhere, the cybersecurity market is at an inflection point. Customers are relying on cybersecurity experts who can protect them against today’s sophisticated threats.

Here’s what you need to know about the enhancements:

New NextWave Program Framework – Breakaway 1=5 is designed to break away from the competition by moving to one unified NextWave Program with five paths to success, giving you the ability to pick the path that best suits your business.

To deliver one unified NextWave Program, we will be integrating a number of stand-alone partner programs, including Authorized Support Center (ASC), Authorized Training Partner (ATP), Certified Professional Services Partner (CPSP) and Managed Services, as service specializations under NextWave.

The five paths to success include Solution Provider, Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP), Distributor, Services Partner and Cloud Service Provider (CSP). Each path will have its own set of requirements and benefits.

Based on customer demand for more specialized security expertise, we will more than double the number of specializations we offer our partners. In February 2023, we will launch two new product specializations – hardware firewall and software firewall – and relaunch Cortex XDR and Cortex XSOAR as two separate specializations.

We will be adding to our Services Specializations, as well. Currently, we have Cortex XMDR. In Q3 FY23 (February – April), we will unveil ATP and CPSP services specializations, and in Q1 FY24 (August – October), we will announce ASC services specialization.

To enable our partners to further differentiate by developing additional capabilities in a specific focus area, the new framework will feature three types of proficiencies: product, services and industry/market.

We launched our first two market/industry proficiencies at Partner Summit 2022 – our premier partner event – for threat response and 5G. The new threat response proficiency enables partners to capitalize on the growing MSSP market by delivering Cortex XDR-based, incident response services. And, the new 5G proficiency provides partners with the sales and technical training to succeed in the security, opportunity-rich 5G market.

We are equally excited about our proficiencies roadmap. In February 2023, we will unveil several CPSP-based, professional services proficiencies. In March 2023, we will announce our first, managed services proficiency.

5 Paths to Success

Solution Provider Path is for partners who want to address customer demand for specialized cybersecurity expertise. This path includes four levels (Registered, Innovator, Platinum Innovator and Diamond Innovator). Solution Provider levels are based on a NextWave partners' breadth of product and services portfolio knowledge, which is determined by performance (bookings or pipeline), capabilities and engagement (number of product specializations earned). With the new framework, Diamond Innovators will have a new CPSP services specialization requirement in fiscal 2024.

MSSP Path is for partners who want to address customer demand for managed security services. This path has 2 levels (Registered and Innovator). MSSP levels are based on managed service performance (bookings or pipeline), capabilities and engagement (product specialization plus corresponding MSSP Services Proficiency). For select authorized MSSPs, we launched an MSSP Partner-to-Partner (P2P) initiative at Partner Summit 2022. The P2P initiative allows NextWave Solution Providers to sell Palo Alto Networks-based managed services delivered by our authorized MSSPs.

Services Partner Path is for partners who provide services (consulting, professional and risk liability) and want to address customer demand for security by referring opportunities to Palo Alto Networks. This new path was launched at Partner Summit 2022.

Distributor Path is for partners who help extend our reach by addressing global customer demand for Palo Alto Networks products, services and support. At Partner Summit 2022, we made two key announcements for our distributors. The first was the expansion of their capabilities to quote renewals. And, the second was the addition of a new specialization requirement in fiscal 2024 (August 1, 2023 - July 31, 2024).

CSP Path is for partners who want to address customer demand to purchase Palo Alto Networks products and services via a marketplace transaction. At Partner Summit 2022, we launched new private offer deal registrations (resell) and deal submission (managed services) options.

The new NextWave Program framework highlights our continued commitment to listen, learn and act on partner feedback to break away from the competition. This new framework is the foundation for our partner blueprint for success, which requires us to enhance partner profitability, enable partner differentiation, expand partner opportunities, embrace all partner types, and empower partner success.

There has never been a better time to be a NextWave partner. Join our NextWave program and become a partner.

Follow our Breakaway 1=5 blog series, where you will learn about the evolution of our award-winning partner program and how it will enhance partner profitability, enable differentiation, expand opportunities, embrace all partner types, and empower success.