British Telecom (BT) has sparked interest among some of the big UK distributors with the news that it wants to set up a broadline distribution channel.
CHS, Frontline and Ingram Micro are keen to handle BT services, including ISDN, PSTN and private kilo and mega stream, but warned that the telecoms giant would have to offer some distributor incentives.
Charlie Watts, manager of BT's third-party arm, would not give timescales on the telco's broadline plans but said: 'As the emphasis moves to providing complete end-to-end solutions, it is very important for us to be dealing with the broadline distributors as well as giving us a more volume channel on the data side.'
Peter Rigby, manager of CHS' networking division, said he had held discussions with BT when at Frontline three years ago. 'The talks came to nothing because BT wasn't offering anything except what it seemed to think was the privilege of doing business with it. But we are very keen to get involved with BT if it can offer us some incentives. It makes so much sense to package the lines with all the networking business we are doing.'
An Ingram Micro representative confirmed the distributor was actively looking at opportunities with BT and was particularly interested in offering ISDN services to its dealers as an add-on solution for its networking division.
Chris Underhill, general manager of Frontline's networking division, said his only concern was ensuring that BT's vendor relationships and direct salesforce did not compete with Frontline's reseller partners.
But Watts said BT set up specific channels for specific market opportunities.
'We target a market and then work back to the products and channels we need.'
BT already deals with specialist networking distributors, including Data Guardian, Data Translation Networking and Logitek.
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