BT Indirect Channels (BTIC) has rocked the distribution community by adding four more vendors to its Integrator programme.
The company performs integration and servicing for resellers on products from Cisco and Nortel. Now it has added EMC, BT's Contact Central CRM package, Alcatel and Mitel to the mix. BTIC described the latter two as "emerging partners".
BTIC will provide financing from BT Network Finance, and support will come from BT Convergent Solutions, originally BT BIS.
"Integrator is about helping the channel move towards convergence," said Rakesh Mahajan, general manager of strategy and business development at BTIC. "It is aimed at smaller resellers looking to scale up or extend the breadth of their vendor line-up."
Mahajan would not comment on either revenue targets for Integrator, or on the number of resellers it intends to sign.
But some channel players have claimed the programme competes with BTIC's own distributors.
Manny Pinon, sales and marketing manager at BTIC distributor Norwood Adam, said: "There is always conflict when BTIC does something like this; it is treading on the toes of distribution.
"However, it's a case of market forces, and BT is simply accelerating the change that's due to come to distribution anyway."
Tom Fellowes, sales director at reseller Spitfire, said: "I wonder how effective BT is at delivering these solutions. Resellers may lack technology skills, but in terms of implementation BT has a disadvantage (compared with VARs).
"At a corporate level the BT brand is reassuring, but perhaps less so at the SME level."
Of the voice vendors that have joined Integrator, Avaya is notable by its absence. Both firms said the decision was amicable.
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