Greater rebates and additional perks are up for grabs for 3Com Corp. partners participating in the Focus channel program, after a revamp this month aimed at increasing loyalty.

Building on the established Focus channel program, 3Com has introduced greater rebates for Silver and Gold partners and plans to create greater distinctions between partner types.

Country manager, 3Com Australia/NZ, Mike Clarke, said the distinctions would create more opportunities for specialist partners.

“It will be clear to us who has what specializations and we will engage with these partners for opportunities in these areas,” he said.

General across-the-board providers will fall into the category of Systems Partners while the more granularly focused wireless, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and security experts, direct marketing resellers and retail specific channels will be singled out into categories of their own.

The changes are likely to affect most of 3Com’s 150 Australian partners. “We’ve raised the bar in terms of putting in additional monetary incentives (in the form of rebates). In order to access these incentives partners maybe required to update their qualifications,” Clarke said.

“All the training is available online free of charge so that it can be done outside of billable hours. We’re very conscious of the fact that a reseller’s time and that of their engineers is very valuable.” Most partners have been informed about the changes and few are expected to fall away from the Focus program as a result.

Meanwhile, 3Com has dumped Renaissance as its New Zealand distributor and signed a new agreement with Ingram Micro to cover the region.

Previously, Ingram had rights to carry only 3Com’s connectivity products and access to the full range of switches pits it head to head with rival distributor, Tech Pacific in the delivery of 3Com product in New Zealand.

By streamlining its New Zealand distribution channel, 3Com hopes to strengthen its value proposition to customers and gain faster market penetration.

The parting of ways with Renaissance does not appear to be a bitter split.

Renaissance general manager, Mark Dasent, said: “A review of strategies for both companies has resulted in this change. We have a big year planned.”

Focus program: ranking, requirements and benefits.

Bronze – Requires one certified solution associate. Entitles partners to the 3Com trade-up tool and partner access information.

Silver – Requires two certified solutions experts. Entitles partners to the trade-up tool, rebates based on target achievement and preferential warranty which allows the reseller to structure a maintenance offering to the customer at low cost.

Gold – Requires two certified solutions experts and two certified product specialists in the areas of wireless, security, VoIP, etc. Entitles partners to more sales leads, the trade-up tool, greater rebates based on target achievement and preferential warranty which allows the reseller to structure a maintenance offering to the customer at low cost.



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