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Fujitsu has indicated it is taking a fresh approach to its Expert Status certification, recognising that the days of box-ticking training programmes are coming to an end.
Many vendors have suspended deadlines for certifications that are tied to rebates and tiers because of the coronavirus pandemic, with most opting to leave the status quo in place for the rest of this year to avoid burdening partners.
Fujitsu did the same and made it clear back in May that Select partners who were concerned that the current trading conditions might have an impact on their ability to hit targets and maintain their status would see the deadlines for submission of target sales agreements extended without losing rebates.
Now the vendor is going one step further on the technical accreditation front and has announced it is taking a more customised approach to training as part of the updates to its Select partner programme.
The firm has indicated it is looking to use the programme to get partners into a position of being seen as trusted advisers by customers that can handle digital transformation projects and it is being more flexible on how it operates the Expert status.
Fernanda Catarino, head of channel Europe at Fujitsu, said the firm had decided to scrap expiry dates for its Expert accreditation, instead just requiring partners that needed to do so to look at it again when the curriculum is updated.
“It’s commonplace for channel partners to have to retake training courses just to retain current certification – and that’s absurd, because it means making a considerable time investment for no gain,” said Catarino.
The vendor has also announced it will introduce special training for hand-picked service-centric partners. This should give them the skills they need to offer a solution-led sale to customers and gain a footing to be seen as a trusted digital adviser.
Those that are invited to go through the training will also be supported with sales and product portfolio guidance. At the end of the process, a Select Circle partner could have gained accreditations in a number of areas, including hybrid cloud, hyper-converged infrastructure, data protection, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT) and specific vertical markets.
Catarino added: “As we focus on enabling Fujitsu Select channel partners to grow, we are focusing on delivering customised training plans that focus on the skills that our partners need – and removing the ‘box-checking’ requirements of many traditional accreditation programmes. This sets Fujitsu’s valued partners up for success – allowing them to build on existing competencies to meet end-customer demands to deliver increasingly complex solutions.”
Training has been one of the areas where vendors have seen surges in demand from partners since lockdown began, with many keen to use the time they cannot spend visiting customer sites to brush up on their skills.