In a bid to shake up the UK convergence market, BT Indirect Channels (BTIC) and Nortel are offering a combination of BT network services and Nortel ICT equipment through distributor Westcon UK's Voice Point convergence division.
BTIC has said the deal will make Nortel's Norstar range available to the channel for the first time, as well as opening up Nortel's high-end Meridian system to more resellers.
"This is a red-letter day in the history of convergence," said Adrian Marsh, Nortel's director of channel strategy EMEA. "This will give VARs full access to the Nortel portfolio and BT's network services, and strengthen our position in ICT."
Westcon will appoint a second Nortel Service Partner later this year to offer an alternative to BT. At present, there are three Specialist Support Partners in the UK: Kingston Communications, BT and GFI Informatics.
"From our viewpoint this fits in quite nicely," said Richard Chilver, managing director of Westcon UK.
"We see convergence very much as a growth business. The addition of Nortel via BT will hopefully make us the convergence distributor of choice. We are now selling Mitel, Avaya, Nortel and 3Com."
The news comes almost a year after CRN revealed Nortel and BT's reseller arm, BIS, were to compete with the channel.
VARs criticised the telecoms carrier for the move, which they said would put BIS in direct competition with BTIC's resellers.
Last year a BTIC representative said the firm would look to engage the channel further in its Nortel business.
"In effect, this deal offers both BT and non-BT resellers a chance to get on board through Westcon," he said.
Separately, Westcon is now selling Avaya's full product range. CRN revealed that Westcon has been in talks to distribute Avaya kit since August. The vendor is also speaking to several system integrators.
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