3Com has surprised its channel by choosing Anixter as the exclusive European distributor for its NBX IP-telephony product, and will restrict access to the product to a handful of resellers.
A source within Anixter said the distributor does not want to publicise the appointment to minimise protests from other 3Com distributors, adding that it wants to target individual resellers rather than be flooded by enquiries.
The NBX will only be available to resellers certified as voice solution partners (VSPs) and 3Com has turned down applications from a number of its resellers. Gordon Davis, general manager of 3Com reseller Compusys, said he had applied to join the first wave of NBX resellers but had been rejected, a decision he put down to internal politics at the vendor. "It's a complete shambles within 3Com at the moment," he claimed.
The four current VSPs in the UK are Jaguar Communications - now part Cable & Wireless - Kingston Communications, Synstar Networking, previously LanCare, and education specialist ScottSys. Local Planet and BlueChip are among the resellers with applications to become VSPs pending.
Phil Owen, 3Com product manager at distributor Logitek, said he is still optimistic about taking on the product, particularly as it has recently established a subsidiary, Logitek Telecommunications, to promote converged voice and data technology.
Scott Rivers, former 3Com product marketing manager for NBX, said to become a VSP resellers must agree a business plan with 3Com, demonstrate the ability to sell voice applications and have a minimum of two engineers pass NBX examinations.
Rivers last week moved to another role within 3Com after building the VSP programme and developing European features for the NBX. The 3Com sales team will now handle the product with Barry Castle taking responsibility for the product at a European level.
3Com established a £6.5m voice application development centre in Edinburgh last month. Next week the vendor will announce it Active Business Unit for small and medium-sized businesses and launch an ebusiness self-assessment tool.
First appeared in Computer Reseller News
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