Since returning from Cisco Live! I have been working on our next big project. In this case, I will need help in my design and deployment so I have to select the company that will help me; choosing a VAR (Value Added Reseller) for the project is a very important choice. Most companies have a policy of getting three or more SOWs (Statement of Work) from partners, but once they are in you are left with several very similar documents and the main difference is price. Anyone that has been in this industry for any amount of time knows choosing your partner purely based on price is a great way to set yourself up for failure.
So how do you choose a partner? Hopefully, you have taken your stack of SOWs and have whittled them down to a manageable number of potentials. Again, hopefully they all have similar levels of experience with the type of deployment you are looking for and possibly similar prices. One of the things I ask up front is if the company is a Cisco ATP (Advanced Technology Partner). If they are, then they stay in my possibilities stack, if they aren’t then even if they stay in the possible stack they have a long hill to climb in the selection process. A company being a Cisco VAR and an ATP means they have proven expertise in an area. They also have direct access to Cisco product resources beyond the normal TAC (Technical Assistance Center) path I would have to take in opening a case and seeking support. Read More »