What is a 'Value-Added Reseller'

A value-added reseller is a firm that enhances the value of third-party products by adding customized products or services for resale to end users. Value-added resellers play a prominent role in the information technology (IT) industry, providing additional hardware, installation services, consulting, troubleshooting or other related products or services on top of core products.

BREAKING DOWN 'Value-Added Reseller'

Value-added resellers exist because they represent an important distribution channel for manufacturers, particularly those in the IT sector. A value-added reseller takes a core hardware or software product or an entire system and customizes a package of additional system add-ons for a customer. The reseller is not the manufacturer of the equipment, but it is expected to have thorough knowledge of the product to properly customize, install, test and maintain for the customer. Recognizing the benefit of value-added resellers, an IT corporation will typically offer product discounts to them as a means to increase sales through this channel. Some of these resellers can be exclusive to one company, but most carry a few or several brands to offer more choices to customers.

Value-Added Resellers for Cisco

Like other large IT product manufacturers, Cisco cultivates a reseller program that encompasses authorization, certification, training and auditing of the members to ensure quality control. A reseller must first be authorized to carry Cisco products, demonstrating that it has the personnel and infrastructure to support the sales of the products. Depending on the level of service, it may receive a "select," "premier," or "gold" certification from Cisco. Cisco further provides training for resellers to specialize in a number of areas such as enterprise networks, cybersecurity, Internet of Things (IoT) and data centers. Periodically, value-added resellers must submit to audits by Cisco to prove their ongoing worthiness as members of the reseller network.

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