Cisco partners have given its master accreditation mixed reviews, with one claiming the complexity of the program outweighs potential benefits.
The vendor introduced master and advanced specialisations at its global partner conference in March. They are designed to reward partners who invest more heavily in skills.
Partners can choose from four advanced categories: Unified Communications, Security, Routing and Switching, and Wireless LAN. The top-tier master accreditation is being offered in two areas: Unified Communications or Security.
Dimension Data general manager, Roland Chia, was not convinced there was any real benefit to being a master partner. One of the major drawbacks he cited was the internal auditing process.
"It's not only about the investment in training, but also the services audits and case studies. References also have to be a certain size. It's a complex certification to undertake," he said.
"The other thing is that everyone who goes for gold partner status has that obvious advantage of discounts. But with masters, we are buying product at the same price as we are as a gold partner. From a prestige and reputation point of view, yes, there is that, but I think the top five gold partners already have that prestige now."
Chia said DiData made a six-figure investment to secure all four advanced specialisations.