Distributor Azlan has stepped up its move into the voice market with a portfolio of BT products bundled around its hardware portfolio.
The distributor, which signed with BT Indirect Channels (BTIC) in January, also holds accreditations for Alcatel, Nortel and Cisco.
"The value we are trying to add is to not sell the box on its own, but add other goodies to it," said Alan Reeve, European business manager for Alcatel at Azlan.
"Resellers can, for example, buy Nortel Succession from us, add circuits from BT, plus wall boards for a contact centre and PC-based consoles to make a high-value package."
Reeve said BTIC's products could be bundled with virtually every product sold by the distributor.
Azlan is one of the several data networking distributors that have moved into voice over the past year. Westcon signed a deal late last year with BTIC and Nortel to distribute the vendor's Norstar line, previously available only direct from BT. BTIC has about 20 such distribution agreements in place.
Simon Thompson, Westcon sales director, said Azlan would have to come up with innovative products to stand out from the crowd. "I'm surprised it has taken Azlan so long," he said.
"Bundling lines with product is not that imaginative."
However, John Carter, managing director of BTIC-only distributor DMSL, was more positive.
"A major player such as Azlan coming in will involve more data resellers," he said. "The potential market is huge. Something like this can help IT resellers get into the market."
Sandy Fitzpatrick, director at analyst Canalys, said the deal could be the first move in a programme to make BT buy hardware through the channel.
"At the moment, BT is a very big Cisco partner, and it has a close, direct relationship with it. Let's wait and see if this changes the balance of power," she said.
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