Nortel has simplified contact between its largest customers and VARs on a global scale to protect its multinationals from being poached by rival telcos.
The Global Customer Partner (GCP) initiative will allow a number of large integrators to act as a single point of contact.
"We want to give good solutions on a global basis and make it possible for large customers to deal with a smaller number of partners worldwide," said Adrian Marsh, director of business and channel strategy for Nortel in EMEA.
"For other partners that are not headline companies, this is good news as well. They can still get a piece of the action. The big guys work closely with local partners, and in some cases take on a partner management role.
"If anything, GCP formalises relationships. Nortel or one of our GCPs will be fronting the deal. This provides a frame of reference that everyone can understand."
Nortel has appointed NexteriaOne, Damovo, Equant and Ascom as European GCP partners. Jim Forbes, head of technology partnerships at carrier Equant, said Nortel was "switched on" about the needs of global customers.
"[Nortel] realises that global customers had to deal with a large number of resellers in different locations," said Forbes. "It has taken a multichannel approach, so now there are a number of global system integrators that can do global sales."
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