Dealers have given cautious approval to 3Com's accreditation scheme, while remaining sceptical about the company's ability to police it.
Many were angry about having to undergo another vendor programme (PC Dealer 6 November), but have welcomed the fact that high-end products will be restricted.
Mark Hollister, 3Com UK marketing director, said the programme would be strictly policed.
'The gate comes down on 1 December and all those who apply will have temporary accreditation for 90 days. An unaccredited dealer will not get product, even if he has a huge ATM order.'
But one dealer said: 'The scheme looks good on paper, but it is a nonsense if left to distributors to police when they are under pressure to hit targets.'
Resellers will be separated into networking partners for low-end kit, solutions partners selling systems kit, and advanced solutions partners with access to ATM and Oncore kit.
Troy Leacock, sales director at systems integrator Networks UK, said: 'We have been complaining for ages about the box-shifters having access to ATM, so we are pleased with the changes. But 3Com must let the market know who the ASPs and SPs are, so it can create sales and stop its traditional end of quarter panic.'
Under the programme, Ingram Micro, CHS and Logitek will stay volume distributors, while the systems distributors (Azlan, Anixter, Data Connectivity, Data Translation Networking, Frontline, Persona and Unity) will be divided into systems and advanced systems.
Only Anixter and Unity have been invited to undergo accreditation in the advanced systems group.
Neil Ledger, MD at Data Connectivity, said the firm would probably apply for advanced system distributor status when it was opened up in March.
'3Com is getting its act together after all the accusations of over-distribution.
It's right that product should be restricted,' Ledger said.
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