Cisco has intensified its storage strategy by launching a channel programme that will reward partners for increasing sales of Cisco storage technology.
Under the Clear Advantage scheme, VARs will get rebates for achieving growth targets on Cisco SAN and multilayer datacenter switching (MDS) products.
Luca Marnelli, managing director of channels EMEA at Cisco, said: "By providing a rebate, Cisco is helping its partners increase their profitability and cover costs associated with becoming specialists in MDS storage networking technology."
Marnelli added that Cisco would like to sign up between 20 and 30 partners across EMEA. "Computacenter and Glasshouse are the kind of resellers we're hoping to capture with this scheme: system integrators that are specialised in storage," she said.
To qualify for Clear Advantage, a reseller must be a Cisco Registered Partner, and must apply by 18 March. The rebate is paid if the VAR meets the criteria of the programme during the entire period in which it participates in Clear Advantage.
Roger Smith, managing director of specialist storage VAR Solid State Solutions, said: "Clear Advantage is definitely something that we would consider carefully. It is always encouraging to see a rebate scheme that enables resellers to 'skill up'. A scheme where we are compensated for becoming accredited is also a good thing.
"I think Cisco is probably suffering in the storage arena because it is still a developing market. It needs significant investment from the likes of Cisco to grow further."
Bob Tarzey, service director at analyst Quocirca, said: "Resellers always like rebates, provided they are against achievable targets. Cisco came into the storage sector only a few years ago. This new programme will get resellers to take another look at Cisco's SAN offering, and also the broader IP network."
Provides an incentive for storage VARs that focus on Cisco products.
Open to all Cisco Registered Partners.
Partners must be willing to work towards achieving their storage specialisation.
Partners must submit storage deal information directly to Cisco in order for it to validate deals.
The EMEA rebate figure is not being disclosed. The US rebate is five per cent.
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