Following an independent audit and 18 months of preparation, network reseller Xpert Systems has been awarded its Cisco Gold certification.
The audit was initiated by Cisco to ensure that the reseller met its standards for technical support.
Tom Kelly, business development director at Xpert, explained that the effort had been worthwhile, because the award differentiated his company from other Cisco partners.
"There has been a significant cost and there will be an ongoing cost, but it is important for our business and relationship with Cisco," he said.
Eddie Allejos, technical director at Cisco reseller Dynax, admitted that Cisco certification is important but added: "Cisco as a product range is becoming less important because we cannot make money out of it."
According to Allejos, the high number of accredited Cisco partners means that it is not always a good investment for resellers.
"We are a base-level Cisco reseller and part of the reason we have not taken up any specialisation and certification is because we are trying not to move with the crowd and do something a bit different," he said.
Clive Hailstone, general manager for Cisco at Computer 2000 (C2000), agreed that not every company is ideally suited to Cisco's specialisation and accreditation.
"Resellers that receive Cisco training want to differentiate themselves from competitors, so if everyone does it the main benefit is gone," he explained.
Hailstone still values Cisco's training and the distributor is itself planning to offer resellers Cisco training in the near future.
"I think specailisations and certifications are very important, particularly if you are gold or silver partners because you get access to better pricing," he said.
"Resellers cannot get the qualifications and expect business to come their way. After investing in the skills they still need to work at getting the sales."
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