BT Indirect Channels (BTIC) is rethinking its channel strategy after coming under fire from resellers.
The channel was angered last month when the indirect selling arm of BT announced plans to launch its own reseller arm, Open Orchard (CRN, 25 November), rivalling its partners.
VARs were also troubled by BT's Business Information Systems move to strengthen ties with Nortel (CRN, 18 November).
But BTIC has now said that the two strategies will be reviewed. "I am looking at a role for resellers in the BT and Nortel relationship and we will be looking at bringing Open Orchard into BTIC," said Chris Jagusz, head of business development at BTIC.
Manny Pinon, sales and marketing director at distributor Norwood Adam, said BT's continued encroachment into the channel reflects its need to increase its reach in SME and corporate environments.
"BT recognises that in the indirect channel it has an easy route to market," he said. "It has a higher cost of entry but the return increases significantly against static running costs."
Other channel executives claimed BT has failed to build a good channel and lacks understanding of the SME market.
In answer to the criticisms, BTIC also outlined plans to recruit data resellers to expand its data networking business in the channel.
The firm has set its sights on medium-sized system integrators and specialised resellers and said it is keen to work with partners that are prepared take part in training and develop business ideas.
"We are looking for medium-sized system integrators and VARs specialising in the government sector and SANs," said Jagusz.
George Sanger, sales director at BT VAR Xpert Systems, said: "BT needs data VARs because it will get most of its revenue from data networking. It does not currently have the skills sets to sell data networks in high volumes."
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