Partners Cheer New SMB Benefits For D&H's Cisco PRO Program

SMB-focused IT distributor D&H has added new features to its Cisco Partner Revenue Opportunities [PRO] program to help SMB-facing solution providers and managed service providers increase their sales of Cisco solutions.

The new features are all part of a new "PRO Small Business" track that the Harrisburg, Pa.-based distributor has added to its existing program that assists clients through Cisco's Registered, Select and Premier partner tiers.

"This Program is a great roadmap for companies that want to get in the game [with Cisco]," said Ben M. Johnson, founder of Griffin, Ga.-based MSP Liberty Tech, adding that although some of Cisco's partner program prerequisites have been difficult for very small solution providers to meet, D&H's focus on its smaller business partners may give those businesses a new way in.

He added that the program will also be beneficial for companies like his that have been selling Cisco solutions for years, but are now looking to grow.

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The new track includes a number of benefits like support for Cisco’s FindIT Network Discovery Utility, which enables resellers to discover, manage and troubleshoot Cisco Small Business products in their customers’ networks, simplifying the search for basic equipment information such as IP addresses and serial numbers with the simple addition of an intuitive web browser side bar.

The new offerings also contain automated marketing campaigns, training and consultation to familiarize VARs with SMB business products and workplace environments, no-cost small business outcomes (SBO) training, product configuration, reference guides and new flexible credit options to facilitate new business.

These additions will give companies like Liberty Tech an opportunity to create a new map to success Johnson said, and strategically plan how to best increase their Cisco-related business.

"SMB partners need help with Cisco, and we wanted to start building a better Cisco practice," Peter DiMarco, vice president of VAR sales at D&H Distributing, said in an interview with CRN.

He said the expanded partner program offerings are aimed at two types of D&H customers: the smaller traditional VAR that is considering selling Cisco products, and the already-established MSP that is growing and wants to begin selling more.

The number of partners that fit into these categories is growing, he said, noting that only two years ago D&H partners were only about 20 to 30 percent MSPs. Today, however, he said that percentage has nearly doubled and D&H is now servicing a partner base that is made up of "at least 50 percent" MSPs.

With the new tools this program provides, D&H hopes to grow its Cisco practice and continue to add onto its growing list of SMB enablement programs that the distributor has released over the last year, such as its recent push into cloud computing via Microsoft 365, a new K-12 advisory group, webcast training, credit line increases for over 850 partners and a new SMB ’blueprints’ program that helps partners deliver wireless connectivity and hosted services.

"This is not the beginning of D&H's focus on SMB enablement programs, but I don’t know where it will end," DiMarco said. "We will continue to meet with partners and continue to create new ways to help them."

Over the next few years, DiMarco said, partners can expect to see one or two additional enablement programs each quarter, with offerings that might include additional pre- or post-sales support or additional financing options.

"We will continue to evolve and improve over the next few years," he said.

D&H also announced it will host a two-day partner summit for partners with the most growth in each Cisco PRO tier. According to a release from the company, the event will give those partners an opportunity to talk with the D&H-Cisco executive team for strategic planning sessions and reseller recognition activities. One partner will win a three-year lease on a 2017 Buick SUV.