Cisco prepares new VAD program

Cisco has announced a new program to enhance levels of services and support to end-users in the region. The new initiative will see Cisco authorised distributors take on more responsibility for support.

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By  Mark Sutton Published  November 25, 2001

Cisco has announced a new program to enhance levels of services and support to end-users in the region. The new initiative will see Cisco authorised distributors take on more responsibility for support, to help push Cisco products beyond enterprise and into the SME market.
Under the new program, which is due to start at the beginning of 2002, authorised distributors including Aptec, Logicom, Mindware, OnLine, Silicon21 and Tech Data will be positioned as value added distributors, and will be able to offer support contracts to resellers alongside regular deals.

John Saunders, regional sales manager for partners explained: “The VAD initiative fits perfectly into our Channel Unification Plan for the Middle East. Our aim is to ensure our direct Silver and Gold partners provide high touch service and support, while our equally important reseller base provides small to mid sized organisations similar levels of service.”

VADs will gain a number of benefits from the program, including same day access to Cisco’s in-country spares pool, 24x7 access to Cisco’s Technical Assistance Centre (TAC) and electronic tools for training, marketing and sales. Distributors will be able to brand support to allow them to create differentiation between each other. Resellers will still serve as first point of contact for end-users, but will now be able to access better support from their VAD, rather than Cisco.

“This initiative is very important to Cisco and all of its customers and authorised partners,” said Chris Khouri, global service manager at Cisco Middle East. “The new program builds on a number of ongoing training and skills initiatives for partners. These have already created growing pools of specialised expertise within local partners; the value added distributor program extends these initiatives to our customers amongst the smaller organisation in this region.”

Previously the only option for direct support was with Cisco’s SmartNet service, which was not cost effective enough for the region Khouri said, hence Cisco wants to put services into the channel.
“The model is focused more on building local skills, we want to see better support for products in the region, as they get more complex, so we want to empower the distributor and the reseller.”

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