Cisco Launches Channel Partner Program to Accelerate the Adoption of Storage Technology and Increase Channel Partner Profitability

 As part of its continuing effort to help accelerate channel partner growth, Cisco Systems today announced the Cisco Clear Advantage Program, the first Cisco program that rewards channel partners for achieving incremental growth targets when selling Cisco storage area network (SAN) solutions and Multilayer Datacenter Switching (MDS) products.

Clear Advantage is a rebate program designed to reward Cisco channel partners with expertise in storage technology and to grow the base of Cisco SAN specialized partners. Channel partners are required to begin work on achieving the Cisco Storage Networking Specialization, by the end of the second quarter of participation in the program. Launched last June, the Cisco Storage Networking Specialization helps ensure that channel partners have a proven expertise to plan, design, implement and support Cisco-based intelligent SAN solutions.

"We want to reward partners for investing in building a Cisco storage networking practice," said Luca Marinelli, Managing Director for Channels, EMEA at Cisco Systems. "By providing a rebate through the Clear Advantage program, Cisco is helping our OSM channel partners increase their profitability and cover costs associated with becoming specialized in MDS storage networking technology.

The Clear Advantage program complements the unique Cisco OSM (Original Storage Manufacturer) Active Go-To-Market Strategy by enabling solution providers to strengthen their relationship with its OSM partners, the primary distributors for the Cisco MDS 9000. Cisco will continue to require channel partners have a resale relationship with at least one of its OSM partners.

Clear Advantage Program Requirements
In order to qualify for Ciscos Clear Advantage Program, Channel Partners must be a Cisco Registered Partner. The rebate is paid based on the Partner meeting the criteria and goals during the entire period in which they participate in the Clear Advantage program. In order to participate in the programs first two quarters, partners must apply by March 18, 2005. The Clear Advantage Program is currently available in the US and EMEA theatres.

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