It's been quite common for vendors to require VARs to become certified on their product before taking them on as a partner, or giving the VAR a higher-level partner status, and in the long run, this is not a bad system--besides the education gained from the certification, it also gives the VAR bragging rights, and a good marketing tool.
VeriStor Systems has a different twist on the concept--instead, the VAR certifies its vendors. Although this type of certification doesn't have an educational component to it, it does have a valuable marketing component. The certification of vendors can be seen as a sort of vetting process, which can reassure customers that the VAR is selecting only the best vendors to serve the needs of their clients.
VeriStor, based in Atlanta, launched the concept this week with their VeriStor Certified Technology Patner program, which certifies storage and virtualization hardware and software vendors. This type of arrangement is inherently much more customer-oriented than the traditional, top-down certification that originates from vendors, and it's a great idea. It's not likely that very small VARs would be able to get away with it, but for those with substantial business, it's a valuable opportunity to make yourself look good in front of your customers.