D&H Canada looks to connect more small VARs with Cisco Meraki though “Driven” program

The “Driven” program for Cisco Meraki is the first program D&H has offered specifically for Cisco Meraki, and includes measures to make it easier for small VARs to become certified on Meraki, and make more money once they are.

Randy Churchill, director of marketing and business development at D&H Canada

SMB-focused distributor D&H Canada has announced that that a brand new program specifically focused around Cisco Meraki has gone live in Canada. The “Driven” program for Cisco Meraki is designed to get more small resellers who have interest in the SMB-focused Cisco Meraki cloud wireless solution trained on it and selling it, both by making it easier for them to go through the process, and making their Meraki business more profitable. The program includes training through Cisco Meraki and support services and back-end rebates from Cisco. All of these specific benefits are exclusive through D&H.

The “Driven” program for Cisco Meraki is now in its third quarter with D&H in the U.S., and has been highly successful there. While Cisco is a major D&H vendor partner, and D&H has offered multiple Cisco programs in the past, this is the first one they have created specifically around Cisco Meraki.

“The program is completely new and unique,” said Randy Churchill, director of marketing and business development at D&H Canada. “It did not exist before in any form, and isn’t replacing an older program. It has been custom designed for our SMB market.”

D&H’s Cisco Meraki business has done extremely well since it was introduced. It first came to Canada in July 2017, six months after it became available in the U.S. The last two quarters have seen a 100 per cent growth in D&H Canada’s Cisco Meraki business. The one fly in the ointment here is that that volume is coming from a relatively small number of partners – which both Cisco and D&H believe can be expanded through this program.

“Cisco has found there wasn’t a large breadth of partners transacting through us on Cisco Meraki,” he said. “We also found that we have a lot of customers who had interest in becoming trained and certified on Meraki, and who had attended events around it, but who hadn’t actually become certified, because it’s a fairly strenuous process for many small VARs. The idea behind this program is to take that interest level, and make it transactional. It will assist partners to ascend to the necessary certification level so that they can become the trusted Meraki expert to their markets even as a small reseller, and not have to surrender it to larger solution providers. It makes things simple for the small VAR.”

One way D&H Canada does this is through a new self-service “Partner Performance Tracker” portal, a new landing page that is part of the D&H Canada site that went live in the second week of August. It lets VARs monitor their progress at-a-glance as they advance through the program.

“The SMB VAR does not typically have the infrastructure or the administrative staff to visualize where they would be on the path to being a Cisco Meraki SMB specialist,” Churchill said. “This gives them a real time view of their journey, and can all be done very quickly and efficiency.”

The Driven program for Cisco Meraki includes support offerings provided by Cisco Meraki and Cisco which are unique through D&H, with the stated objective being to provide the smaller VARs with some of the benefits available to Cisco’s top tier Gold partners. These include Meraki360 half-day remote training sessions, Cisco Express Networking Specialization training vouchers, promotions, discounts, back-end rebates, and MDF funding.

“The program provides the VARs with Cisco OIP Deal Registration, makes them eligible for back end rebates of between 2 and 10 per cent, depending on their revenues, and makes them eligible for a dedicated resource – a Virtual Partner Account Manager [VPAM],” Churchill said. “It gives them the opportunity to have direct Cisco involvement like the Gold partners get.”

D&H is adding measures of its own in support of the new program.

“We are hosting bi-weekly virtual Meraki webinars, and customizing demonstrations for partners who need a specific solution,” Churchill indicated. “Something else that is new is that D&H Canada will be providing, at no charge, wireless site survey kits using Cisco Meraki products, which we offer on a demo basis. This is a big win for our VARs, a ‘wireless site survey in a box’ that they can build their Meraki business with.”