D&H Distributing is introducing a Cisco partner enablement program for solution providers aimed at both introducing new SMB-focused partners to the Cisco product line and helping current partners move through the Cisco certification process more quickly.
D&H's Cisco PRO (Partner Revenue Opportunities) program, scheduled to roll out Thursday at its Mid-Atlantic Technology Show in Hershey, Pa., includes services and training for each level of the three-tiered program, which incorporates two levels of Cisco's partner certification program -- Select and Premier -- as its top two levels. The lowest level, Registered, is the first level open to those engaged in the D&H program.
"This is a way of launching a new program to our resellers. It kind of piggybacks on Cisco's program," said Jeff Davis, senior vice president of sales at Harrisburg, Pa.-based D&H. "We add additional benefits to the reseller when they come into the program through D&H." He added that the additional benefits D&H includes are typically not provided by competitors in similar programs.
"The additional benefits [are] what makes it different," Davis said. "Competition will take the Cisco program and run with that; what we are doing is taking the Cisco program and offering additional benefits."
The benefits solution providers gain from the D&H program depend on their level, but include professional support and training from the company.
Jon Allen, the owner of Ogden, Utah-based D&H partner Proponent IT, said this program is something that he is interested in as a solution provider in the SMB market.
Allen said that he has in the past been a partner with Cisco and that although over the past few years he has steered away from Cisco, he has recently entertained the thought of again doing business with the company.
He said Cisco "killed their SMB product line" when some of the systems that worked best for the SMB market were discontinued and what was left was "not cost-effective." However, he added, Cisco has recently added newer products, like the 5506 firewall, that bring it back to the SMB market.
Allen said that a formal program that helps businesses like his become Cisco-certified "will make the process much easier."
He added that this program "gives me more of an incentive" to do business with Cisco.
The first level, Registered, will allow solution providers who increase their sales of Cisco solutions four benefits provided by D&H. As a Registered member, the solution provider will be given vendor-specific partner services, marketing templates and materials; be included in D&H's exclusive loyalty club; have dedicated specialist sales support; and have training opportunities.
As a Select member in the program, the partner will have access to everything at the Registered level and also on-demand Cisco Opportunity Incentive Training; priority access to the Cisco engineer hotline for pre- and post-sales tech support; and inventory forecasting. The Select members also will get access to virtual training from Cisco system engineers and will have Select recertification training at no cost.