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A better alternative to specializations is for a vendor to give partners the chance to get competencies based on a combination of skills and an objective analysis from the vendor's local teams, Norbie said.
"It would be good to have the local teams grade their partners on everything from the quality of proposals to the installation," he said. "Maybe they need a hybrid program. There needs to be some subjectivity in the field. Each of the vendor's channel managers know who the great channel partners, who the good channel partners are."
In the end, what the channel really needs is training and tools, Norbie said. "What partners don't like is needing to get all those certifications," he said. "We end up having an overburdened channel with all these check-offs."
Ambulos said that the accreditations gained as part of the Velocity program go to the individuals who get accredited, and not to the solution provider organization. Solution providers need to maintain the required number of accreditations on a yearly basis. As a result, he said, if an accredited sales rep or engineer leave, it is up to the solution provider to replace him or her as needed.