Resellers will finally begin to see a return on their investment in the mobile computing market and are well placed to take advantage of the growing sector, according to Nortel.
The vendor is stepping up its partner programme by offering more seminars and training related to wireless LANs (WLANs), roaming, IP telephony and virtual private networks.
Peter Finter, Nortel's enterprise networks marketing leader, said: "2004 will be the year resellers make a return on the investments they have been making in the convergence market.
"By providing wider offerings and consultancy, resellers have a door opener to reposition themselves at a more senior level in the boardroom."
VARs will also benefit from increased sales in related IT and training, Nortel claimed.
Finter said: "There's almost no limit to the things people can add to the core capabilities of wireless. Education and training will be in demand and security issues will open up a whole new product line for some resellers."
The firm is offering resellers a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit that gives an insight into the mobile computing habits of top executives.
The report, Cutting the Cord: the Commercial Impact of Mobile Computing, predicts that hardware sales will grow, with the research indicating that 75 per cent of firms trialling mobile computing have installed WLANs.
Financial services, e-government and healthcare will be the sectors investing the most in convergence technologies and mobile computing this year, Finter claimed.
Jess Thompson-Hughes, managing director of React Technologies, said: "Converging voice and data networks can bring real cost savings. If you have an office with 300 staff using mobile phones it can cost thousands of pounds.
"IP technology can help you cut those costs significantly. You can talk to anyone within your company for almost no cost."
However, he warned that security is essential. "If you connect a wireless device then you're opening up a backdoor behind your firewall," he said.
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