CRN Exclusive: CenturyLink Execs Detail New Channel Focus, Plans To Bring Top IT Vendors To Its Telecom Partners

How big is the certification and training component for Ascend?

Corbin: The gates are all revenue-based. So you go to one of the higher levels based upon your revenue. That's a monthly billable revenue that we manage and measure.

The certifications are no more complicated than they were in the past. It's all the engineering and the pre- and post-sales certifications. Of course we support that, and we allow co-op to help pay for that. It's a bit different than the Cisco CCIE [Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert] program. To get to be a gold DVAR [Cisco Direct Value Add Reseller], you got to have 16 CCIEs on staff or whatever. We're not requiring that. But to be a Platinum partner or a Diamond partner, it comes with the territory that you have to have the pre- and post-sales support. Otherwise, they just can't get to the revenue gate.

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