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Coronavirus: Extreme makes partner programme changes to up support

Extreme Networks has become the latest vendor to use the tools in its partner programme to increase the support it can give resellers in this difficult time

If the first phase of vendors’ response to the coronavirus was to send messages of support to partners, then phase two is shaping up to be around taking those words and turning them into actions.

HP made moves yesterday to simplify incentives, point partners to online training tools and alert resellers to the finance it can offer customers.

Now there is further evidence that partner programmes will be one of the main tools for vendors to help support their channel during the Covid-19 crisis.

Extreme Networks has taken steps to increase support with updates to its certifications and rebates to provide partners with flexibility to earn rewards and maintain their status.

Its headline decisions include a move to make all Active Specialisations & Master Specialisations extended, and all CWNA requirements will be waived until the end of September.

All partner levels will be extended to December 2020, with the next levelling review in January 2021. Upgrades will still be possible throughout 2020, but there will be no downgrades. The partner level training requirements, which were announced in October 2019, will now be pushed out from March to the end of June.

Active PartnerWorks entitlements will be also be extended until the end of June.

Extreme Networks says it has recognised current market conditions and will grant alleviations regarding training compliance on a case-by-case basis. Diamond partners will be given reduced targets.

The vendor has also extended the training it can provide, including the option to gain a free remote cloud technical certification.

“The whole world is currently in the tight grip of this pandemic, but the EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] market in particular has been badly hit, with many countries in partial or full lockdown,” said Sean Collins, senior director EMEA channels at Extreme Networks. “It would be irresponsible to expect our partners in EMEA and across the world to continue meeting our channel programme requirements without taking into account the changing market conditions.

“At Extreme, we firmly believe that we, our partners and their customers are all in this together, and we are determined to stand by our partner community as we collectively navigate these challenging times.”

Extreme has also taken steps to help resellers and their customers on the financial front with a raft of measures in that area.

There are payment deferment options, with a chance to defer until the start of July. Extreme Capital Solutions is also prepared to provide monthly, quarterly or annual terms.

The vendor is also making a 0% finance offer available to those concerned about current pressures on cashflow. This can be combined with the payment deferment option for maximum financial flexibility.

Natalia Vianden, director, global channel programmes at Extreme Networks, said: “While it is hard to keep up with the pace in which the world around us is changing right now, we do understand that, given the current circumstances, it might be difficult for our partners to stay compliant with our channel programme requirements. For this reason, we have adapted our programme to offer maximum support and flexibility to our partners at this difficult time.”

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