NETWORKING giant Cisco Systems has named Telecom its Gold partner of the year for New Zealand and Australia at a ceremony in Hawaii last month. Telecom headed off 13 other companies for the title.
Cisco appointed the phone company’s Advanced Solutions division as a top-level partner less than a year ago, amid channel speculation that it would take advantage of its new found direct buying rights and by-pass its main distributor Express Data.
But this has not been the case, with Telecom continuing to buy most of its Cisco kit from Express Data. “[Gold status is] about what our customers want,” Advanced Solutions general manager Chris Quin says.
A big part of this is increasing the number of certified staff across Cisco’s specialisations, such as IP telephony, VPN security and wireless LAN.
Quin says Telecom’s growth in Cisco sales “certainly was a big part” of winning the award; but an increase in its staff’s technical skills and a focus on Cisco’s priority technologies made it an overwhelming winner.
“We’ve been benchmarking our processes and standards, and the quality at which we are implementing IP solutions [contributed],” Quin says. “It would also be fair to say we’re taking business off the other Gold partners.”
In New Zealand these are Logical CSI (Cisco’s first Gold reseller), Datacraft and Hewlett-Packard. Ten Australia-based resellers were eligible for Gold partner of the year.
Cisco New Zealand manager David Barker said in a statement that Telecom Advanced Solutions “outflanked” all other partners.