F5 Launches Sales and Technical Accreditation Programs

By Jennifer Lawinski  |  Print this article Print

F5 Networks is creating sales and technical accreditation programs that will benefit partners under its Unity partner program.

Application delivery networking firm F5 Networks has launched new partner training and accreditation modules under its Unity partner program.

The Web-based training modules and accreditation program information is free to partners through the company’s F5 University. Training accreditation launches this month and sales accreditation later in 2011.

"From a channel perspective it’s a really great content place to be able to get better breadth into this exploding market," Dean Darwin, F5’s vice president of worldwide channels, told Channel Insider. "It’s comprehensive across our entire product line… and it’s modular so they can take whatever module is relevant to their business."

The trainings are designed to allow partners to better recognize sales opportunities, tailor F5 solutions to meet customer needs and help customers implement those solutions in various environments. Sales trainings will help educate partners on product features, deployment architectures and common use cases for different F5 products.

Eric Wolf, a senior network engineer for Mount Laurel, N.J.-based solution provider Continental Resources, reviewed some of the technical training modules for the F5 LTM product and said they’re well laid out and technically concise.

"The technical accreditation is a phenomenal first step to help the partners prove that we’re proficient, and that’s an attractive go-to," Wolf told Channel Insider. "Some other manufacturers sometimes have trouble balancing the technical and the marketing. This was very concise technically."

He said F5’s sales training and accreditation programs will also be helpful resources.

"People get used to hearing one specific thing over and over, especially in sales. Any time we can broaden their base and make us smarter, it’s a win-win," Wolf said. "It helps the sales people to also succeed. Engineers are great, but without the sales people we’d get kind of bored. "

The sales training program has 10 hours of online content. The technical training module has 12 hours of content. The program was designed using training materials different F5 divisions around the world were already using and standardized. The online training, Darwin said, allows partners to participate at their own pace and when they have time rather than take technicians or sales personnel out of the field for group sessions.

"We really put a lot of thought into how do we do this in such a way that partners don’t feel it like a burden," Darwin said.  "This is a really good first step investment to get them on that road map of learning, to get that baseline they need to have."

Partners who receive accreditation in sales or technical areas will receive benefits when the company moves to a tiered partner program later this year, Darwin said. "We wanted to get the accreditation out first and give people enough time to consume the training and work out the kinks and then come around with the tiering and reward partners for the investment."