Every reseller in the UK is now able to register and become accredited under the government's Technology Means Business (TMB) accreditation and standards initiative.
TMB is part of the UK Online for Business initiative and allows individuals within a reseller, and companies as a whole, to gain a kite mark-style independent government accreditation.
Running since June 2001, the scheme was initially available only to resellers linked to Hewlett Packard's (HP's) Centres of Excellence, a partner programme that the firm had aligned with the TMB.
But last week the Institute of Management (IoM), which is administering the scheme with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), said that other vendors, including Sage, IBM and Intel, had also shown interest in aligning their partner programmes.
"As of now, the TMB scheme is available to any reseller, whether it sells HP or not," explained Neil Southern, director of standards and qualifications at the IoM. "Sage is developing its own reseller accreditation scheme, and there is a desire to see if it is possible for Sage to run a parallel scheme to the TMB."
He added that the IoM was in talks only with Sage, and that nothing was definite.
Nigel Hudson, managing director of Sage's new-business division, confirmed that the company was in discussions.
"We are talking to the DTI and the IoM regarding possible ways to align our schemes, but it is still only at the discussion stage at the moment," he said.
Duncan Wyeth, sales director at Sage reseller Serion Logic, maintained that it was beneficial for the channel economy that the scheme offered both company and individual accreditation.
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