Distributor Network Partners plans to avoid the Cable and Wireless (C&W) melee by using white labelling the products itself.
C&W last week (CRN, 30 January) told CRN it was to consolidate its indirect channels including partners who sell C&W-branded products.
Network Partners has claimed its white label sales model will ensure it can continue to service its reseller community.
Kevin Cheston, divisional director at Network Partners told CRN: "The C& W situation concerns us, but we are able to act as almost a wholesale arm and sell on to our partners."
Cheston said Network Partners operates as an independent firm working with a number of carriers and servicing over 200 partners.
The C&W saga:
In a move that has left its channel players reeling, Cable and Wireless (C &W) has pulled the plug on its indirect channel strategy.
C&W said in a statement to CRN: “We have chosen to consolidate our indirect channels and will no longer be requiring the services of agency partners in the UK.” The firm said this will include all partners who sell C &W-branded products and receive commission on the sales.
The carrier, which will still work with a handful of resellers directly, inked distribution agreements with Network Partners and Interface Advantage last year (CRN, 18 April), and has recently signed with networking distributor Westcon (CRN, 21 November), which was due to be launched to the channel today.
However, C&W has scrapped the Westcon deal at the eleventh hour, with both Network Partners and Interface Advantage also being axed.
Bernie Dodwell, alliances manager at Westcon, said: “Four days before the announcement they terminated the deal. We have put a lot of investment in and are taken aback as there was no indication that this was going to happen.
“C&W appears to be wiping out 95 per cent of its channel, but the implications to us are minimal as we have only lost four months of preparation,” he said.
Keith Edwards, sales director at Interface Advantage, said: “It is very bizarre and will involve a substantial change in our business. I have not been briefed on the situation, but I know it is fairly dramatic, and I understand C &W is withdrawing from indirect channels.”
John Carter, managing director at rival BT distributor DMSL, said: “C&W has been blowing hot and cold on the channel, but it won’t recover as people have long memories.”
Keith Humphreys, managing consultant at research firm EuroLAN, added: “C &W is in danger of burning bridges with the channel and pulling the plug on the Westcon deal is appalling.”
Humphreys predicted a dramatic effect on the business of C&W’s smaller distributors which will quickly need to switch to another provider.
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