When any company sells through both direct sales and indirect channels conflict is inevitable. It's not surprising that every company in this category has a program in place to help management of this conflict.
Several issues ago I wrote an article which stated some of these criticisms as they related to Cisco Systems, a company that has generated more stories of channel conflict than even its enormous market share should warrant.
Subsequently, Cisco Systems Australia managing director Scott Ferguson wrote an article for the August edition of IDG publication Network World that outlined his views on channel conflict. According to Ferguson, while Cisco horror stories make him cringe, the bottom line is that the network has to work. An underlying theme was if Cisco's channel methods are too tough on particular resellers then perhaps they aren't best suited to meeting the needs of its customers.
Accordingly, Cisco has revamped much of its channel structure, raising the qualification bar for some of its resellers and placing greater emphasis on technical pro-ficiency and training. It has been working hard this year to revamp its channel program, appointing a number of staff and launching new assistance and service programs.
While all of this may look great on a PowerPoint presentation, the true value will only become apparent once the program matures. The same is true for Eicon Technology and 3Com, who have both launched reseller programs to support their purely channel-only sales model, and it will also apply to IBM when its NETeam program is launched.
But do these programs work for the networking reseller? Please let us know.
Note: For a copy of Scott Ferguson's article please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone on (02) 9902 2748.