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3Com Enhances North America Focus Partner Program

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MARLBOROUGH, MASS ? December 12, 2005 ? 3Com Corporation today announced a range of comprehensive enhancements to the company's Focus Partner Program. The enhancements maximize channel partners' opportunity for growth and profitability by creating a more scalable program that measures and rewards partners based on their increasing commitment and expertise. The enhancements also provide partners with incremental rewards and benefits as they increase their investment in selling 3Com products and solutions.

"The key to successful channel sales is in building a program that meets the needs of a wide variety of partner business models," said Ken Presti, research director of network channels, IDC. "These new enhancements to 3Com's Focus Partner Program help partners to align with 3Com based on expertise and commitment, which can help to identify the appropriate partner to meet the customer's business need."

Developed after extensive consultation with both existing as well as non-3Com channel partners, the enhancements make 3Com's Focus Partner Program one of the most profitable and partner friendly in the networking industry. Enhancements to the program include: a points-based Focus Level attainment system; Technology Specialization categories; an updated 3Earnings rebate program; more opportunities to leverage marketing development funds (MDF) to drive end-user demand; and improved tools, including an enhanced Partner Dashboard, a redesigned Marketing Store and online configuration and service quote tools. Additional program components include automated lead distribution and management systems and deal registration, which will be added in the coming months.

"Our strength is our channel and these enhancements further demonstrate our commitment to our partners through recognition and reward for investment in selling 3Com," said Nick Tidd, 3Com's vice president of North American Channel Sales. "This is a significant milestone in the continued evolution of our Focus Partner Program ? a program that has been built by partners for partners. With 3Com, partners have more opportunities to sell, are more knowledgeable about 3Com products and solutions, and are more motivated, which means customers enjoy a valuable relationship with the partner and 3Com."

To clearly and effectively measure a channel partner's commitment and investment in 3Com, the program now features a points-based Focus Level attainment system. Partners accumulate points for completing and maintaining technology specializations, carrying Service Delivery Authorization or Service Reseller Authorization status, as well as for revenue generated. More points equals a higher Focus Level in the program and more benefits that a partner can earn in the form of financial rewards, personalized access to 3Com and improved recognition in the marketplace.

One of the most significant enhancements to the program is the opportunity for partners to specialize in 3Com's major technology areas ? Security, IP Telephony, Enterprise LAN and Enterprise Wireless Infrastructure ? which was driven in part by the expansion of 3Com's product portfolio. Technology Specialization provides visibility for an end user to find the most qualified partner for their needs. Partners can choose which of the specialization categories they want to participate in based on their capabilities. Additionally, within each of the specializations partners can achieve Elite status, an exclusive group of partners that meet 3Com's most stringent requirements for sales as well as technical and service support.

Among the many benefits of 3Com's Focus Partner Program are financial rewards, including 3Earnings rebates that are given to partners that demonstrate expertise within the Technology Specialization categories, and MDF funds, which are provided to partners either on a percentage of sales or on a proposal basis, depending on the partners' level in the program. 3Com partners also have access to dedicated account executives and account managers, recognition in 3Com's Partner Locator in addition to logo and co-branding opportunities.

New tools, including an enhanced Partner Dashboard, provide partners with greater visibility into their 3Com business. The dashboard is updated in real-time by 3Com, removing complexity and providing partners with visibility into their Focus Level attainment status, 3Earnings rebate tracking and applicable MDF accruals. Updates to the dashboard are completely automated so partners can quickly and easily obtain the information they require. Partners can also access demand generation tools, advertising and other marketing programs through 3Com's new Marketing Store. Additionally, unlike competitive programs, partners can spend their MDF allowance with approved 3Com vendors without any cash outlay.

Program Requirements To participate in the program, partners must meet basic registration requirements. To achieve Gold, Silver or Bronze status, partners must attain minimum points thresholds and meet additional mandatory requirements, such as submission of business plans and completion of a semi-annual partner profile. Gold partners are required to maintain Service Authorization status and provide access to point-of-sale (POS) data. Focus Levels are assessed every six months, instead of quarterly, allowing partners to drive consistent programs with customers and prospects. Participation in any of the Technology Specialization categories requires minimum sales training and technical certification levels. Enhancements to the Focus Partner Program are available to North American partners today. For further information on the Focus Partner Program visit http://www.3com.com/partners/.

Copyright ? 2005 3Com Corporation. 3Com and the 3Com logo are registered trademarks and TippingPoint is a trademark of 3Com Corporation or its subsidiaries. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective holders. This press release was accurate at the time it was issued but may not reflect 3Com's current strategy or product offering.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 December 2005 05:28