A slagging match has erupted between Bay Networks? value-add distributors (Vads) following the threat that they could lose access to high-end kit if they fail to qualify for a new accreditation scheme.
Bay will launch its enterprise solution distributor (ESD) programme next month. The Vads ? Anixter, Azlan, Persona and Unity ? have welcomed the scheme, but some have cast doubt on their competitors? skill levels.
Leigh Howard, Bay business unit manager at Azlan, said: ?Azlan has been pushing for distributor accreditation as a way of differentiating ourselves, but we believe there should be segmentation between Vads, as some of them migrate naturally to low-end workgroup products.?
Persona business development manager Paul Mainwaring said accreditation would rubber-stamp its existing expertise. ?Manufacturers tend to get rid of someone when they launch such a scheme. Failure doesn?t worry us, but smaller distributors like Anixter and Unity haven?t got the resources to put in a large number of dedicated Bay people.?
But Dave Inman, European marketing director for Anixter?s networking business, said such claims were nonsense. ?We?re servicing ordinary resellers, rather than large Vars, so we have to have a greater technical resource than Azlan and Persona,? he said.
Mark Hyland, Bay UK distribution manager, said he expected all four Vads to pass ESD accreditation. But he admitted they would be relegated to workgroup distribution with Frontline and Logitek if they failed. ?Some will do it quicker than others, but accreditation should not be a hurdle,? he said.
ESDs must have two engineers at specialist level on network management and two at expert level, as well as one expert engineer each for hubs, routers and switches. Demonstration facilities, a dedicated commercial business manager, three sales people, update training and attendance at sales and marketing forums are also mandatory.
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