Network Associates (NAI) is ramping up its SME reseller support by becoming the first specialist vendor to join the Department of Trade and Industry-backed Technology Means Business (TMB) scheme.
The scheme, whose founder members include Hewlett Packard, Cisco, Intel, and Microsoft, allows individuals and VARs to gain a kite mark-style independent government accreditation.
Neil Southern, director of qualifications and standards at the Chartered Management Institute, said he has been working with NAI to sort out the details for several months.
"NAI will be working with us in a big way. Security is a major issue for SMEs, and a growing market in which most resellers need to operate at some level," he said.
"The DTI has also welcomed the security involvement because it is one of its major concerns."
Wayne Carter, northern Europe region channel director at NAI, said the vendor will realign its SME channel programme to be in line with TMB.
"This will not happen immediately, but our SME programme will change later this year," he said.
"We had a reputation for not knowing whether we were direct or indirect in the past, and this is part of the message to prove we are 100 per cent channel in the SME sector.
"Everything is gearing up for us in the channel; we are not just putting in programmes for the sake of it."
George Anderson, security business development manager at NAI elite partner Computacenter, said the alliance is good news for the channel.
He added that this latest move could encourage NAI's rivals to get involved with the scheme as well. "It should be on the agenda of these organisations," Anderson said.
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