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Cisco offers helping hand to recession-hit partners

Simon Quicke

Cisco has announced a host of measures to ease life for resellers struggling in the downturn and encourage customers to open their wallets.

In a keynote at its Channel Exchange event in Lisbon, Edison Peres, senior vice president, world wide channels go to market group at Cisco, said that it was still encouraging resellers to focus on the long term and take advantage of its credit facilities but had decided to make specific moves following the continued economic turmoil.

As a result Gold Partners of "good standing", which is defined by the number of certified engineers they have trained on the staff, will have the need for the vendor's annual audit waived next year and the need to purchase demo kit will also be dropped for 2009.

"If a partner is in good standing we will waiver the annual audit so they don't have the expense of going through that," he said.

In addition Cisco is going to start paying resellers that carry out customer network assessments and introduce a range of promotions to stir up customer interest.

Andrew Sage, vice president of world wide small business sales at Cisco, said that it had just started a zero financing promotion for SME customers in Canada and the USA and it would be "rolling that out in other countries".

Resellers were also urged to start using Cisco's financial muscle and exploit its finance packages to help customers fund purchases.

"People have not been using some of the available tools with 50% of partners not using Cisco Capital," said Peres.

Peter Ellis, director of network integration at Dimension Data, said that it was already leaning on the financing package and stressed that it did enable some purchases and network refreshes to happen when they otherwise might have been delayed.

"Cisco Capital is an increasing element of our business and is going to be more next year," he said.

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