Cisco Systems, has announced that it has evolved its solution distribution model for sub-Saharan Africa, bringing cost, time-to- market and support benefits to distributors, resellers and customers alike.

"With the selection of these qualified distribution partners we have reached another milestone in Cisco's distribution strategy for EMEA," said Haico Meijerink, senior director, EMEA Distribution Operations at Cisco Systems. "After conducting a thorough RFI/RFP process for the sub-Saharan Africa region, we have reached our objective to optimise our distribution landscape in this region. Together with these local organisations, we see a great opportunity to expand the Cisco distribution footprint in Africa still further."

With the new distribution model, the sub-Saharan Africa region has been structured as follows: two master distributors will service a network of authorised distributors, each of which has been assigned specific countries they can operate. These authorised distributors will sell to in-country VARs that will, in turn, deliver point or integrated solutions to end-user customers. Cisco"s first-tier, pan- African systems integrator partners - such as Business Connexion and Dimension Data - will continue to source products directly from Cisco.

"Our technology often forms the very fabric of our customers' businesses. The networks that we build are relied upon for every facet of a company's operations, whether concentrated in one country or spanning a sub-region or the continent," explains George Atrash, channel manager, sub-Saharan Africa at Cisco Systems. "One of our highest priorities when creating our network of distributors was to find companies with the right logistics infrastructure, product and solution knowledge, and the ability to provide training and add value."

Cisco's VARs and customers are set to benefit from this distribution evolution. VARs will have access to the distributors" large stock holding and will therefore be able to source products in even shorter time frames. Customers will also benefit from this faster time-to- market, as well as the ability to interface more closely with their Cisco solution providers.