Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Mitel have finally put meat on the bones of last year's agreement to jointly sell and market products through VARs to boost their presence in the convergence space.
Steve Davis, vice-president of marketing at Mitel, said HP's ProCurve division and Mitel will offer incentives to resellers for selling joint solutions to new customers. "There is very little overlap between the two organisations, and we want to touch the channel together," he said.
HP and Mitel staff have been trained in each others' equipment and resellers will get fast-track training in both the voice and data sectors. The two vendors are also offering joint accreditations to resellers.
"We are getting partners to the right skill levels," said Jon Wetherall, UK and Ireland country manager at HP ProCurve. "Both HP and Mitel have come up with fast-track training schemes."
Weatherall said accreditation could take as little as four weeks. Perks include £12 per port rebates for sales of the joint solution to new customers.
The emphasis of the joint venture is on dealing with resellers, he said.
"The focus of this is very much on VARs; they really influence choice," Weatherall said. "We're happy for resellers to do things such as source from two distributors, for example."
It is understood that neither vendor wants to change its distribution line-up.
Four resellers - Pervasive Networks, AT Communications, Universal and Bailey Telecom - have qualified for the joint accreditation, and 20 more have signed up for the process. Xpert Communications and Premises Networks have also shown interest.
"Mitel presented this to resellers at its channel event in Paris and we're going to go for it. I think it will be good for Mitel and a nice fit on the product range," said Maurice Lee, managing director of Premises. "This will be quite a knock for Cisco, which has every man and his dog selling Express at the moment."
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