A fresh channel initiative from Cisco will result in 220 resellers losing their existing accreditation, it has emerged.
This week Cisco announced a worldwide channel programme that will offer three certification levels, aimed at improving technical capability for resellers and allowing the lucky ones to sell a broader range of Cisco products. The channel programme will move into the small and medium sized enterprise market.
Cisco has responded to complaints from corporate resellers that its existing scheme, dubbed Pro, allowed unskilled dealers to install products.
George Chaplin, Cisco product manager at Computacenter, welcomed the move. ?Until recently, Cisco had a two-tier approach to their channel,? he said. ?Basically it left them unequipped to sell and support Cisco equipment.?
He said that had done Cisco a disservice against its competition including Bay Networks and 3Com. ?Cisco was in danger of shooting itself in the the foot,? he said. ?We and other resellers voiced our dissatisfaction with them. Now partners like us will need a better level of accreditation and a tunover commitment.?
But another corporate reseller, who declined to be named, said that Cisco was likely to lose 225 of its Pro partners because of the change in the channel strategy. ?It?s an attempt to clear the murking of the water when Cisco launched the Pro programme,? he said. There was some doubt amongst the corporate resellers that Cisco will do enough to police the new accreditation scheme and prevent these other resellers from buying kit, he said.
Trevor Dearing, network product manager at Bay Networks said: ?Cisco is trying to spread its wings in many areas but the SME arena is fiercely competitive.? He said his company and others were already well established there and claimed it will be difficult for Cisco. ?Whether the reseller channel is able to enter that market is questionable,? he said.
No one from Cisco was available to comment on who the winners and losers were likely to be in the channel revamp.
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