Zend recently introduced an affiliate program targeted at local user groups all around the world to allow them to get discounts on Zend products and services. Unfortunately, the program has met with some mixed reviews and Giorgio Sironi touches on just a few.
The program is intended to benefit all the parties involved; primarily, Zend gets a showcase for its products in an environment of dedicated PHP programmers like the ones in PHP user groups. In exchange, the group members obtain a discount on their purchases via a group-specific coupon code.
Some user groups are seeing it as a good thing, a way to provide the things Zend has to offer (software, training...anything on the Zend store really) for a discounted price. Others, however, see it has an unwelcome way Zend has tried to worm their way into local groups.