SUN Microsystems has launched a new training and certification programme that will see it open up its infrastructure offerings to the channel.
The company is making the same training materials and methodologies used by its internal sales force available to its partners, enabling them to sell and deliver infrastructure products previously delivered directly.
Certification will initially be available in the areas of data centre consolidation, storage and data manage-
ment and identity management.
The new programme aims to improve Sun’s engagement with its partner community, says Sydney-based director of partner sales Michael May.
“We have not been focusing on training particularly heavily in the last two years, so we decided to refresh it and implement a new training regime,” he says.
The programme focuses on Sun’s Client Solutions practices as it needs partners to help it fulfil the large number of opportunities for these offerings, says May.
“The opportunities in that space are incre-dible and our pipeline is building quite dramatically,” he says. The training programme is web based and resellers complete an online self-assessment to determine which courses they need to go on to acquire certification.
May says being web based is one of the major benefits of the programme, as it allows Sun to be more flexible in providing training on an individual basis, while it saves resellers time and travelling costs.
Meanwhile, Sun has launched a new telephone-based account management team to generate leads for resellers in New South Wales and Victoria. The model will be expanded to the rest of Australia and New Zealand within the next 12 months.
The team will be completely channel focused, says May. “They will know which partner is aligned to a particular customer and will pass all leads and qualified opportunities to that partner,” he says.
These initiatives are part of Sun’s strategy to move more sales through the channel.
Partners currently contribute over 60% of the vendor’s product revenue in Australia and New Zealand, says May.
“We want to increase the ratio — if we can get that up to 65 or 70 % in the next 12 to 18 months it would really good,” he says.