Communications vendor Level 3 is offering UK voice over IP (VoIP) VARs the opportunity to increase their product portfolios through its partner programme.
Although the scheme currently has no products or partners to speak of, Level 3 has claimed its Enabled Partner Programme will allow resellers to leverage its services in order to become voice, internet and data providers to the business market.
John Irvine, vice-president at Level 3 and former vice-president at rival IP Centrex provider Inclarity, said the first commercial sales are expected in the first quarter of 2005. Partners might include ISVs, VARs and switchless resellers.
"We believe the programme is unique in the industry, both in terms of its flexibility and in the high degree of control it provides to partners as they interface with the end-user," said Irvine.
The scheme has already been running in north America since early 2004 and UK VARs will now be the first European partners to take part.
Partner sales will initially focus on Level 3's hosted VoIP offering for SMEs, with partners receiving training, a web-based information portal, and access to client evaluation and servicing tools.
Matthew Townend, head of product and channel management at Inclarity, was unfazed by the announcement.
"We welcome new competition into the VoIP market. There are plenty of opportunities for all of us and competition just makes the game more interesting."
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