Ruckus moves certification online

Regional sales manager says education is key, for customers and resellers

Wireless infrastructure provider Ruckus will continue to ratchet up education efforts among potential customers, while putting its reseller training resources online as it gears up to bring on new reseller engagements in 2013.

The company will continue to use authorised training partners but resellers interested in attaining the vendor's “wise guy” certification will be able to train and test through a training portal, which as of late December was scheduled to be launched in mid-January this year.

“We will have all our courses, training and introductory training courses for people who’ve never sold wi-fi products before,” says Rob Mustard, Ruckus’ VP of marketing, who visited New Zealand in December. “Theses will include introductions to product lines, certification, with exams, following with how to do site surveys, large complex network designs, trouble shooting.”

Mustard says Ruckus will allow self-accrediation online but will add the opportunity for resellers to earn a higher-rated certification by taking a fully proctored exam at one of the authorised testing facilities.

Connector Systems in the past has placed heavy emphasis on reseller training. Exeed has recently moved its Auckland headquarters to a facility with dedicated training rooms. (Exeed late last year was appointed as a Ruckus distributor in addition to Connector Systems)

“The benefit of giving quality training to the channel is that our partners will be more successful and more comfortable with the product, and therefore win more business, and it won’t be putting much of a load on our sales people, so freeing up [New Zealand regional sales manager Renilda Saguil] to work on bigger projects she wants to tackle. It can also free up staff because a lot more of the channel will be able to do that level one and level two support.”

Ruckus is eager to spread the word among new resellers it hasn’t engaged with prior to the Exeed appointment.

“We have 73 partners on board, most of them from Connector Systems as they were incumbent,” says Auckland-based Saguil. “Exeed has many active partners and we’re getting them on board and education is key. They are good VARs and we want to work with them.”

The vendor as part of this effort brought its one-day wi-fi roadshow to New Zealand in early December, a first tour of “Ruckus University” in the APAC region, according to a vendor spokeswoman. The roadshow hit the main New Zealand centres, and featured G T Hill, an industry expert and wifi trainer from the US.

Ruckus in late 2012 developed what it calls Dog Days as a way to allow local, regional sales people like Saguil to repeat the Ruckus U tour locally with the vendor providing material from its California headquarters.

“We want to provide knowledge to the market place as the ‘good guys’ who can give impartial education,” on standards such as 802.11u and 802.11ac, says Mustard. “Whether it’s from our website or in a face-to-face event, we want to be the organisation to educate without spin. Obviously we’re not philanthropic. We want to do that on the basis that if they trust us they will ask us how to solve their specific problems.”

The company also provides resellers with site-surveying apps to test deployments of its wi-fi routers and controllers, to help resellers optimise site designs.

“The wireless site survey apps are very powerful and easy to use, but you have to have a background of undertanding what wi-fi technology is all about,” says Saguil.

Ruckus is contending with big players in the WLAN infrastructure space, but it hopes that its IPO in late 2012 and a recent comparison among leading manufacturers conducted by Syracuse University that cast Ruckus in a good light will give channel partners confidence that it is here to stay, Saguil and Mustard say.

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