Networking giant 3Com has launched a new channel programme to help its partners to increase their presence in the voice over IP (VoIP) market.
The Preferred Partners programme will increase training, lead-generation and marketing support for partners while providing clearer accreditation, 3Com claimed.
Partners are split into two groups, those handling SME clients and those targeting medium to large enterprises.
The simplified accreditation process will mean resellers can sign up as a partner for half the previous investment in training and service contracts.
Vakue-added resellers (VARs) targeting larger firms will receive special training tailored to the needs of different industries, and more dedicated pre- and post-sales support, 3Com has said.
Mario DiMascio, EMEA voice sales director at 3Com, said the programme will be equally beneficial for VARs from data and voice backgrounds.
"It gives data resellers skills in voice technology and voice resellers will be trained on local area network telephony," he said.
"A lot of data resellers are sitting and waiting for the market to pick up but this is a mistake. It has already begun to take off."
Ken Presti, research director of IDC's Network Channels and Alliances service, said 3Com's partner segmentation is a responsible approach to classifying channel partners in a way that ensures that scarce resources are invested in the right places.
"Today's networking vendors need visibility into the strengths of their partners," he said.
Separately, research commissioned by software vendor Compuware suggested the take-up of converged voice and data networks still faces obstacles.
The survey found 43 per cent of network managers are unable to get management support for the implementation of VoIP and a quarter said they had concerns about sending traffic across a VoIP network.
Richard Bowen, technology manager for performance and support at Compuware, said in a statement: "For the management team, there is a reluctance to make the large investment VoIP requires, and for the network manager there are still concerns over quality and reliability."
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