Cisco blesses certification management tool

Cisco has given its blessing to a new channel certification management tool released by ICT training specialist Vortex 6. The networking giant has long played by the tired mantra of being 'easy to do business with', but now seems to have accepted that there are circumstances when it needs outside h

Cisco has given its blessing to a new channel certification management tool released by ICT training specialist Vortex 6.

The networking giant has long played by the tired mantra of being 'easy to do business with', but now seems to have accepted that there are circumstances when it needs outside help to manage this.

Vortex 6 managing director Peter Olive said that Cisco had vastly simplified its programmes, but that the sheer breadth of technology that the vendor is now selling meant that at times some resellers still had difficulty keeping up.

"The programme is quite comprehensive, but inherently it's complex because there are so many different attributes and variables," he told MicroScope.

"For as long as I've been in the Cisco channel it's been spreadsheet based, and it can be quite easy to make mistakes. If you get something wrong you can lose your incentives, so it's very important for resellers to get it right," he said.

Vortex 6 has now released a software package called Fusion to address these issues. The programme provides resellers with an online dashboard displaying their business status and key analytical data, including apps to highlight certification renewals, employee information and tracking against plan and budget.

The firm says the tool will allow resellers to proactively plan and manage their Cisco relationships and work towards higher programme levels.

The software, which is available as both a hosted and on-demand service, has been road-tested by three major Cisco partners, Capita, IBM and Verizon, but is also aimed at registered and SMB Select partners, said Olive.

Cisco UK and Ireland channel operations manager Phil Ruston said: "Cisco welcomes any solution that helps our channel partners increase the benefit they receive from our certification programme, and whole-heartedly support services aimed at allowing partners to equip themselves with the right skill set to meet the needs of our clients."

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