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Cisco splits up Avant Garde scheme

Alex Scroxton
Cisco has performed a series of tweaks to its Avant Garde partner support initiative, splitting the programme into two tracks to better serve its resellers' interests.

The initiative was originally devised to prepare networking dealers - specifically those dealing with the sub-1,500 seat market - for the economic recovery by providing various marketing tools, information and incentives to capitalise on what Cisco claims is a $4bn sales opportunity.

Cisco has now split the programme into two tracks, Avant Garde Start, which is pitched at entry-level dealers and Plus, designed for Certified Partners.

Partners on the lower tier will be put through a comprehensive sales training programme and get access to customer intelligence and co-marketing services, while the upper tier brings more closely-aligned sales support and extra financial incentives.

"The recession has irrevocably altered the make-up of the business landscape, but we have navigated the storm and now it's time to accelerate forward by assisting partners as they uncover customer demand and expand their horizons," remarked Cisco worldwide partner organisation vice president Thierry Drilhon.

"the initiative enables partners to have early discussions around new business models and use these changing behaviours to move to growth," he added.

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