Networking giant Cisco has announced major changes to its partner program, adding a new series of back-end rebates under the rubric of its Value Incentive Program.
The rebates, which will be available to a select group of VARs selling IP telephony and security products, take effect now and go through the end of July. VARs will have to qualify for the rebates, which can be as much as 10 percent of the sales volume, and will be paid in September.
The qualifications are somewhat complex and differ between the IP telephony and security product lines. IP telephony VARs will have to pass several hurdles. They must be certified as an IP telephony-revised specialized partner and sell at least $300,000 worth of Cisco IP telephony product during the first six months of 2003.
Meanwhile, security VARs must be certified as a VPN/Security specialized partner, and meet one of the following criteria:
Both groups must participate in the customer satisfaction survey program and achieve an average customer satisfaction rating of at least 4.16 during the six-month rebate program.
"We want to grow top-line revenues for our partners," says Edison Peres, vice president of emerging technologies, worldWide channels, at Cisco. "And the best way to do that is by increasing their margins and helping our partners bring more value into the equation."
Peres says that if the program is successful, Cisco would consider extending it and mentioned that rebates for other emerging technology specialties, such as storage and wireless products, would also be drafted in the coming months.