Networking vendor, Linksys, has launched its first local registered VAR program as part of plans to ramp up its SMB sales.
Regional director A/NZ, Graeme Reardon, said the enhanced Linksys Partner Connection Program, which was launched on May 1, was aimed at recruiting and recognising VARs. Previously, partners could only register and deal with the vendor directly via the US Linksys website.
The launch followed a series of recent initiatives and new product lines improving the vendor's small business play, he said.
"We have a dominant retail play in the US and are marking inroads here as well. But the key driver and core pillar is to increase our SMB penetration," Reardon said.
"This is not just an ecommerce website or for resellers with no value to add. We're looking for people who add value, maintenance and services to their customer sales."
LPC would be run separately to current channel programs upheld by Linksys' parent company, Cisco Systems.
Among the new incentives for VARs is an additional five point margin on small business series products bought via distribution. These include multipoint gigabyte layer two and three switches, NIC cards, Linkys' new range of IP phones and POE wireless access points. Linksys' Australian distributors are LAN Systems, Express Data, Ingram Micro and Multimedia Technology.
Reardon said registered VARs would also be able to apply for special pricing through its new online bid desk facility. In the past, resellers had to request individual price breaks via their distributor. These would then be passed on to Linksys for approval.
Other incentives on offer include co-branding and marketing development funding, more comprehensive marketing collateral, up to 25 per cent discount on demo stock pricing, guaranteed level 2 technical support and special reseller-only promotions. The promotions would become available on June 1. SMB specific products would also be available.
Reardon was unsure how many Australian VARs currently sold Linksys products because they were only registered in the US. However, 200 local resellers had already signed up to LPC since its launch this month.
"We are looking to sign up as many as we can to offer products in all areas across the country," he said. "I'd be pleased if we can get 1000 VARs online by the end of the calendar year."