Orange is scouring the Microsoft channel to try and find 200 UK VARs after signing up Brightpoint GB to distribute its broadband and devices.
Orange’s business manager for indirect channels Mark Simm claimed the new signing would allow his company to recruit IT VARs as well as push traditional voice resellers towards data products.
Brightpoint GB was Hugh Symons Telecom until a buy-out last year. Carphone Warehouse-owned Hugh Symons Communications is also an Orange distributor.
The network operator’s other UK distributors include Midland, Mainline, Avenir Telecom, Fone Logistics, Redstone, EBS and Cell Link. Simm said: “Brightpoint can take us into the IT space quicker and easier than our existing channel. It has got experience in the IT space and is in it for the long term.”
Simm claimed SME-focused Microsoft partners would make ideal recruits and indicated he hoped to sign up 50 VARs by the end of 2009, with an eventual target of 200.
“We have our traditional guys that are used to selling voice that are now dealing with converged devices,” said Simm. “Then we have got IT guys. It would be easy for them to add contracts and tariffs around the whole Microsoft piece.”
Keith Humphreys, managing consultant for euroLAN, claimed the convergence of IT and mobile technology would be increasingly reflected in the respective channels.
“We are seeing network operators bringing mobile subsidies to netbooks,” he said.
“The question is whether the IT channel will embrace that."
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