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From: DaveHowe at (Dave Howe)
Subject: Training & Certifications

Harlan Carvey wrote:
> Well, like I said, certs for the products you're
> supporting always help.  MCSEs for Windows systems,
> maybe even CISSPs for your upper level folks.  The
> thing about the certs is that some vendors
> (Checkpoint, MS, etc) have a process set up where,
> with a certain number of certified folks, you can be a
> "certified reseller", or something similar.
You can get burnt by that too, if you are a reseller.
Former orkplace were a Novell reseller since the 3.x days; During the 4.x
days, Novell introduced levels of resellership, based on how many CNA, CNE
and CNS (salesdude) trained staff you had. So, more than half our staff
(it was a small outfit, six staff including the receptionist/secretary!)
trooped off and the company paid for them to attend all the training
sessions and get the exams, we were in at ground level (we didn't have
enough staff to even try to make it to the second level; we would have to
hire extra people just to hang certificates on)
This was fine for over a year, then our bigger accounts started
disappearing. After a few confusing weeks of trying to figure out what was
happening, we discovered that novell had launched a "volume" licencing
deal where bigger customers could get significant discounts by agreeing in
advance to buy a certain amount of novell product - and that we weren't
allowed to offer that at our level, so other resellers had called our
larger customers and asked them if they were interested in 10-15%
discounts for essentially the same product?
So scratch one Novell reseller, we took a massive hit on the deal (didn't
recoup anywhere near the cost of the training, and due to some staff
moving on would have needed to train another newbie) and stopped selling
novell products; dozens of smaller deals were never made (at least not
though us, although many took us up on our suggestions to use NT or
Winframe instead) so I can only assume novell took a hit on the deal too -
particularly as it cost it 10-15% of retail price to take those larger
accounts away from us in the first place.
What I learnt from this was to never assume that reseller certification
programmes are there for the customer or the reseller - they are purely a
profit center for the vendor, and should be treated as such.

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