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Cisco Systems introduced incentives and tools for its “core” technologies—routers and switches—to support VARs selling what is still the backbone of the network.

VARs are now eligible for a trade-in incentives, deal registration and end-user network assessments for Cisco’s keystone technologies such as VOIP (voice over IP), Unified Communications and others. VARs will also be compensated for technology assessment plans of the core technology in a customer’s network.

The program is a response to partners who have complained that they still need to sell the foundation technologies, but were doing so at a loss when compared to the AT solutions they could otherwise concentrate on.

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Previously, partners could register a $75,000 VOIP implementation, but not a $1 million network refresh.

Cisco initially instated a slew of incentives for AT to ensure the profitability of partners building new practice expertise to sell the new wares, but it soon made selling core technologies at the expense of AT unprofitable, said Chuck Robbins, Cisco’s vice president of U.S. and Canada Channels.

“Core technologies are still a large part of our business and partner’s business,” said Robbins. “We needed to make sure it was still profitable for partners sell it and that meant balancing between the two technology sets.”

Cisco consider those core technologies a $25 billion a year opportunity.