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Nutanix offers three types of certifications.
The Nutanix Platform Sales Representative certification can be achieved with about two hours of online training followed by a test. The Nutanix Platform Sales Engineer certification requires the same two hours of training and an additional two hours specific to the technology. Partners looking for the highest level of certification, the Nutanix Platform Professional, will be required to attend a two-day formal training program.
While several larger storage vendors are starting to move away from using revenue to determine at which level a partner works in their channel programs, revenue is important in determining the level of market development funds, discounts and rebates for which a partner might qualify, Kaplan said.
The highest level in the Nutanix Partner Network is Elite status, which is offered to partners by invite only, Kaplan said.
"This recognizes partners who are doing an outstanding job with Nutanix," he said. "Revenue is a criteria for Elite status but is far from the most important one. For partners getting certified, there's no reason they can't be doing a lot of work with Nutanix."
Verola said Vicom expects to be an Elite-level partner with Nutanix. "We've sent our guys on ride-alongs with Nutanix SEs to do implementation, and 15 of our 20 outbound sales reps are trained on Nutanix," he said.
In addition to Nutanix, Vicom works with IBM's Pure line of converged infrastructure offerings, Verola said. The solution provider typically sells and deploys the IBM solution when working with customers with a heavy IBM focus while offering the Nutanix solution to new customers developed on its own.
"When we go into a customer on our own, we see Nutanix as a VDI play," he said. "If we need a simple way to add VDI to a customer's solutions, we go with Nutanix. The majority of Nutanix partners we know find the way to enter an account is on the virtual desktop side. There is some cloud. But mainly via virtual desktops."