Networking vendor Cisco has relaxed accreditation criteria for its notoriously tough certification programme for resellers by introducing additional levels.
Traditionally, resellers attempting to reach top tier silver and gold badge accreditation were required to complete a number of Cisco certified internetworking engineer (CCIE) qualifications.
However, two sub accreditation levels, Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Networking Partner (CCNP), have been introduced to allow resellers to work up to the top levels.
Paul Salmon, channel systems engineer manager at Cisco, said: 'A lot of people who went from zero knowledge to CCIE level thought it was tough.' He added: 'We have made it more structured and resellers will have to pay to take part.'
However, Iain McTaggart, managing director at Ciscom, a Cisco-only reseller expressed mixed feeling about the changes.
McTaggart said: 'I think it is a good thing to raise knowledge since CCIE has an 80 per cent failure rate. But, in terms of stature, Cisco account managers will look at nothing less than a CCIE qualification.'
He added: 'I do not think it will work with larger systems but for the SME market, it is a good idea.'
Phil Herbert, operations director at reseller European Electronique, said: 'Because Cisco only really started using the channel over a year ago, introducing interims earlier would have been a mistake.'
Richard Bradley, 3Com director of channel sales, said: 'The scheme is not finished yet but we had to update and broaden it.'
Salmon said the rejigged scheme was introduced in January and is due to roll out in April and May, although neither McTaggart or Herbert had any prior knowledge of it.
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