Telephony vendor Nortel will continue its SME market onslaught in 2007 and plans to nearly double its European VAR ranks.
The firm launched its SME Building Blocks programme earlier last year (CRN, 15 May), and spent most of 2006 recruiting lower-end resellers.
This year Nortel plans to continue to enhance and grow its SME offering to its channel partners and end-users.
Amanda Giddins, EMEA distribution sales director at Nortel, told CRN: “In 2006 we recruited 240 SME partners across Europe and we will continue recruitment in 2007, while adding to our internal SME support team. We want to have 400 SME resellers across Europe by the end of 2007.
“We are focusing more on packaging bundles for SMEs. You will see a lot of product development from Nortel in 2007. There will also be a lot of application-led programmes.”
Giddins also revealed Nortel is looking to introduce a new SME finance service, which will work as a leasing tool for SME resellers.
“There will be new channel services in the first quarter of 2007, that will cover early adopter technology,” she said. “The SME market is a massive growth market. We have a strong SME install base and SMEs are responsive to the bundles we offer.”
Giddins added that Nortel has designed a specific SME portfolio, rather than taking an enterprise portfolio and making it cheaper.
Tony Bailey, vice-president of UK and Ireland at Nortel, said: “In 2007 we are looking at more end-user fo-cus and bringing more leads to the channel.
“We have also worked on vertical marketing, targeting nine key verticals including government, retail and finance, while education is also picking up,” he added.
David Garwood, Nortel product marketing manager at distributor Crane, said: “We have a focused Nortel team that provides ongoing support and services to make sure our resellers investment in Nortel is a profitable one.”
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