Northamber has stolen a march on Digital distributors by snapping up a deal to introduce a computer telephony integration (CTI) system from the vendor ? even though it does not supply its other products.
Last week, Digital introduced an Alpha-based system developed in conjunction with Mitel, which has set up an indirect policy for its NT products. But Christine Lehmukhl, product manager at Digital US, claimed that its existing partners lacked the CTI skills needed to sell the products.
?Digital distributors [in the UK] don?t have the CTI skills. Northamber came to us and took on a system integrator role,? she said.
Paul Smith, head of Northamber?s telecoms division, said: ?We?ve recruited Digital resellers by accident. I?d like to be a Digital distributor.?
Northamber will require the 30 or 40 Vars it has targeted to go through a stringent accreditation system, said Smith.
?We?ve carved out a fairly good slot for supporting CTI applications. My view is these products will replace the PABX and by 2002 this will be pervasive.?
According to Smith, resellers will earn up to 30 or even 40 per cent margin. ?Because the margin opportunity is so significant, we have a fierce accreditation procedure. We?re looking for NT and networking skills.? Northamber will make the resellers buy discounted Digital-Mitel units, he said.
Although two Intel-based introductions were planned, they are unlikely come to fruition this year, said Smith. The CTI system will cost between #1,200 and #6,000 per seat, depending on the size of the site. The price includes the server and software, but not individual telephones attached to the NT server.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that John Cumpsty, the former head of Northamber?s networking division, Meganet, has been made redundant after a year and a half of working for the distributor.
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