Resellers have questioned Cisco's decision to introduce switching and routing channel specialisation, a move they have described as going back to basics.
Cisco wants to tool the channel up for its entire range. It has already introduced specialisations in growth markets such as IP telephony, wireless local area networks and security.
Paul Salmon, Cisco's director of technical operations EMEA, said in a statement: "This specialisation recognises partners for having expertise on our routing and switching products, strengthening their core business and bringing us one step closer to covering all of our products through specialisations."
The new accreditation is aimed at small resellers, so that they can prove to potential customers they have the routing and switching technical skills.
"This will be an inexpensive accreditation and will be aimed at some of our 114 premier partners," said Nick Watson, head of unified channels UK at Cisco. "It is a way for them to show they have the skills."
But Mark O'Hara, managing director at Cisco premier partner Hydra, said he would be surprised if Cisco resellers of any size required this specialisation.
"This is its core business and anybody that is a Cisco reseller should be a specialist in this," he said. "Most resellers will have the necessary skills and even very small resellers can use distributors."
Cisco is trying to add value to products that are becoming commodities because the channel is saying "we can't make money anymore", O'Hara said.
"Two years ago 80 per cent of our revenues came from Cisco products but now it's about five per cent because we decided we cannot make money from it," he added.
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