Cisco is taking a swipe at Hewlett-Packard's (HP's) ProCurve networking business with a targeted buy-back programme.
Resellers say they are being encouraged to use the vendor's Competitive Technology Migration Programme (CTMP) to entice customers away from ProCurve.
Cisco is also encouraging resellers to target enterprise customers with Cisco products that are six to 10 years old.
A Cisco representative said the company was "not ready to talk about CTMP".
HP was also unavailable for comment.
Simon Hill, director of UK product distribution at Azlan, said: "CTMP links into Cisco's SME push and reflects the fact that the vendor is operating in a market where it's not the only major player. It's going to be a fiercely competitive environment."
Hill added that Computer 2000 and Azlan had signed up 150 resellers to Cisco's Opportunity Incentive Programme since its inception in 2002.
HP grew its revenue in the overall worldwide LAN switching market (excluding Layer 4-7) from $174.1m in the first quarter of 2003 to $204m in the same period this year, according to figures from analyst IDC.
However, Cisco continues to dominate the market, with sales of $1.9bn and $2.5bn for the same periods respectively.
In the first three months of 2004 Cisco held 6.8 per cent market share, compared with HP's 5.6 per cent.
However, in the SME LAN switching market, Cisco's market share is relatively low. Key switching competitors include 3Com, HP and NetGear. In the security market Cisco is up against a mix of small start-ups, and well-established players such as Check Point and Juniper.
"Competitive buy-back is a natural deal for resellers today," said Neal Tilley, marketing director at Alcatel. "Before 2000, buy-back was over-used."
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