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Value Incentive Program (VIP): increase the profitability of your organization

24th April 2015
by Herman Goedman

Value Incentive Program (VIP)Cisco offers several so-called incentive programs: programs that may lead to an extra discount on Cisco-products. In this post I will look closer at one of these programs: the Value Incentive Program (VIP).

During my conversations with Cisco partners, in which I advise them on the Cisco partner program, I have noticed that this particular program is still largely unknown or unclear. Which is a shame, for the program may provide an organization with a large amount of extra discount. Therefore I will give an overview of the possibilities and conditions.

What is the Value Incentive Program?

The Value Incentive Program (VIP) is a back-end rebate program. Quite a few difficult words to start with, I know. A back-end rebate program means that the discount (rebate) on sold products will be extended after the products are delivered (back-end).

The size of the discount is 20% max and depends on the nature of the product. The program is divided in periods of 3 months or 6 months and the discount will be determined on the basis of product sales in those 3 or 6 months.

Currently running is VIP25, which means: the 25th VIP program. The 3 month VIP25 runs from April until July 2015 and the 6 month VIP25 runs from January until July 2015.

The VIP program is divided in Tracks and Sub-tracks. An example of a Track is Data Center and an example of a Data Center Sub-track is Unified Computing Systems (UCS). Every Sub-track consists of several products that fall within the VIP discount deal. One of the products that falls under the Sub-track UCS is for instance UCS Director.

How can you take part in the Value Incentive Program?

An organization that wants to take part in the Value Incentive Program needs to sign in at Cisco. You can do this on the Cisco website under Partner Program Enrollment (PPE). You’ll find several incentive programs under PPE. Search for ‘potential programs’ and consequently on ‘VIP25’.

Can all organizations take part in the Value Incentive Program?

No. To take part you need to be a Cisco partner, possess certain specializations or ATP certifications (like ATP ISE or ATP TelePresence Video Master), meet certain purchase volumes and submit 10 customer satisfaction surveys, the so-called CSATs.

It is not always necessary to possess specializations or certifications at the time you sign in. Sometimes it is only required to fulfill the expertise conditions at the end of the VIP period. Make sure you are well advised on these matters.

What specializations or certifications does an organization require?

The kind of specialization or certification depends solely on the Track(s) and Sub-track(s) that are chosen by the organization. There is always a connection between the Track, the Sub-track and the required specialization. The Sub-track UCS is for instance connected to the specialization Advanced Unified Computing Technology: to be eligible for the VIP discount on products that fall under the Sub-track UCS an organization thus needs to possess this specialization.

Cisco Gold partners who meet the requirements of the Cisco partner program will almost always meet the required specializations in the VIP program. After all, gold partners possess a broad spectrum of specializations.

Cisco Premier partners however need to look closely whether already acquired specializations are sufficient for a (Sub-)Track in the VIP program. When a partner has obtained the Premier certification with the Express Foundation specialization the partner will not be able to take part in VIP program with a Collaboration Track without obtaining the Collaboration specializations first.

By adding expertise conditions to the VIP program Cisco shows that it wants to reward partners who offer complete Cisco solutions and provide added value to their customers. Hence the word ‘value’ in Value Incentive Program.

What purchase volumes does an organization need?

Like the kind of specialization that is required, the size of the purchase volumes depends on the Track(s) and Sub-track(s) that are chosen by the organization. Within the Sub-track UCS for instance a Dutch Cisco partner needs to purchase $ 57.500 in products to meet the minimum volume. For precise purchase volumes of the other Tracks and Sub-tracks ask Cisco.

My advise to Cisco partners

I hope I have given you a clear overview of the possibilities and requirements of the Value Incentive Program in this blog post. For additional information you can consult the Cisco website.

Does your organization already take part in VIP program? In that case evaluate regularly to be sure that you take part in the right Track(s) and Sub-track(s). Do you get the maximum discount from the program?

Doesn’t your organization take part as yet? In that case consider the gains of taking part, but also what investment will be necessary to meet the expertise conditions.

If you have any questions concerning this post, feel free to contact me.

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