Nortel networks is bringing its channel together under a single partner programme and has opened up its entire product portfolio. The firm hopes the move will open up high-end markets to a wider range of its resellers.
"We are introducing a single partner programme that will unleash our whole range to all our partners," said Peter Finter, director of channel strategy and support for Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) at Nortel.
The programme is designed to integrate the firm's traditional voice partners and new data partners. "The plan is to integrate the diverse range of partners we inherited through the Alteon and Bay Networks acquisitions," explained Finter.
Nortel has split its product portfolio into six key areas and will make them available to all partners. The areas are optical enterprise, content networking, corporate local area network and wireless, corporate wide area network, IP telephony, and customer interaction products.
The company's resellers currently cover two or three of these product areas. Under the new scheme they will be able to sell the entire range.
"We are making sure the training is attractive to partners, and that they will see a significant return on investment from it. The programme allows partners to be trained and to move into high-value product and application sales if they wish," said Finter.
Nortel does not want to burden partners with accreditation in areas where they do not expect to make money, he added.
Andy Powell, marketing director for EMEA at Nortel specialist support partner NCR, said: "To support and design Nortel's high-end optical solutions resellers require a comprehensive skill set. We will offer resellers skills and support because the programme has an element of partner co-operation."
Partners will be divided into gold and standard resellers, depending on their investments in Nortel accreditation.
The company has more than 5,000 partners globally, and about 350 are supplied and supported directly by Nortel. The remainder includes resellers that are supplied through distributors, which account for about a quarter of Nortel's total business.
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