Wavelink, which develops software to create, deploy and manage WLANs, this week is introducing a VAR certification program.
The program is not mandatory to either retain status as a Wavelink VAR or become a new partner, but rather is a means for partners to reap new benefits, said Jim Souders, vice president of sales at Wavelink, Kirkland, Wash.
The benefit to Wavelink is the reassurance that partners have the necessary expertise to sell, implement and maintain its product lines, but partners say becoming certified is well worth it.
In return for achieving accreditation in one or more of Wavelink's product lines, partners can use Wavelink's certified partner logo and priority technical support. VARs also receive a listing on Wavelink's VAR Locator, special pricing discounts, free demonstration licenses and ongoing access to resources available only to certified partners, Souders said.
Wavelink's line consists of Mobile Manager, which enables partners to configure and deploy multivendor WLANs, centrally perform updates to mobile devices, manage network health and performance and centrally manage remote sites.
Mobile Manager supports access points from such vendors as Cisco Systems, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Proxim and Symbol Technologies.
Wavelink's Avalanche product performs software and configuration changes wirelessly, manages remote devices and adds security layers for remote devices.
Wavelink also offers Studio, which helps partners develop and manage commercial applications such as supply chain management, inventory control, warehouse management, retail operations and field service.
Lastly, Wavelink has an emulation solution that lets businesses leverage their existing legacy infrastructure and systems while creating a migration path to mobile devices. Devices roam freely using Wavelink Emulators to gather and transmit data to existing host systems such as IBM, DEC and HP mainframes.
Many existing partners implement several of Wavelink's product lines and plan to take advantage of the new certification program for each product line they support.
Tolt Technologies, an integrator specializing in retail and warehouse automation solutions, for example, supports Wavelink's Mobile Manager, Avalanche, Studio and Emulator lines.
Some of Tolt Technologies' employees have already been through the beta versions of the training.
"When the final classes come out in October, we'll be sending more people," said Greg Richards, vice president and general manager of mobile solutions at Tolt Technologies, Gig Harbor, Wash. "The benefits [of becoming certified] are pretty obvious,from the marketing programs, expert access to back-line technical resources and the preferred support and pricing models."
Anyware Network Solutions, an Englewood, Colo.-based network VAR focused solely on wireless broadband solutions, develops solutions around Wavelink's Mobile Manager and Avalanche. Anyware, in conjunction with Wavelink, developed a wireless security solution for public safety vehicles in the city of Aurora, Colo., and uses Mobile Manager to manage 300 access points for an Army medical center in Austin, Texas, said Todd Leven, wireless network consultant at Anyware.
Aside from the preferred pricing and support certified partners receive, Leven said the free demo licenses will increase sales for his company.
"Higher-education accounts like colleges have a lot of access points on campus and are prime candidates for Mobile Manager, but they like to touch and feel any new product, so the free demo licenses will be a big help in the sales cycle," Leven said.
The certification training will be offered through a combination of classroom and lab-based instruction. Courses will range from introductory classes to specializations in Wavelink's product lines and training geared toward serving vertical markets such as health care, Souders said.