The number of Cabletron Synergy Plus Partners has expanded with the addition of six resellers in Australia.
Joining Cabletron's first four channel partners (Anite Networks, ITS, Siemens Nixdorf and Honeywell) are Diverse Computer Systems and Allied IFS in the ACT, Distinct Computer Solutions in NSW, Sunrise Computer Systems in Queens-land, Sleebs in Tasmania and CSM in the Northern Territory. NSW-based Senteq Infor-mation Systems has joined the program as a national partner.
The Synergy Plus Partner Program was launched in May last year as part of Cabletron's move from a direct sales model to a channel sales model.
Becoming a Synergy Plus Partner entitles a reseller to information and training, business support, sales and marketing support, pre- and post-sales telephone support, and access to business development funds. And unlike the previous sales model, partners are able to take advantage of a scalable discount buying structure. For Sleebs, a network reseller that counts itself in the top three companies of its type in Tasmania, becoming a Synergy Plus Partner was the formalisation of an already established relationship.
"We pride ourselves in selling the best solutions - we look at our marketplace and our vendors and choose products," said Greg Omay, manager of Sleebs. "In regard to networking hardware, we sell Cisco because they make the best routers and then we sell Cabletron because they make the best switching and virtual networking products. And then we've got the Bays and Intels and so on.
Signing with Cabletron was not a difficult decision, said Omay. "Because we already dealt with Cabletron we really didn't do a lot of evaluation. We knew the company and the products it sold. Whenever one of their internal reps came down to see clients in Tasmania they always took one of us along with them."
Omay said Cabletron has gone out of its way to provide training and support, with two systems and design engineers flown to Tasmania to give a two-day training course to Sleebs employees.
"From our point of view they're more than willing, if we get to a larger network, to fly a systems engineer down to us to assist in the design and implementation of that network," Omay said.
Omay said the new discounted pricing structure has also been an attractive part of the program, enabling Sleebs to make a much greater margin on the sales of Cabletron products than it has been able to before.
"We'd always gotten a discount but nowhere near what we are currently getting," Omay said. "It made it fairly hard to resell Cabletron products because Tasmania is a close knit marketplace - the customers out there didn't really want to buy things off someone in Sydney, they wanted a face down here.
"So Cabletron were always cooperative with us."
Senteq Information Systems became a national Synergy Plus Partner recently, expanding on the membership that its Victorian operations already had. "It's a product line and a manufacturer that we felt we could not and should not ignore because of their technology," said Roger Barnard, group manager of Senteq.
"And the Synergy Plus program is very attractive for resellers to operate on. They offer some very advanced technology which gives them quite a leadership in switching techniques, and they have a very small number of partners, which is also attractive."