Data and voice communications vendor Telia UK is selling its direct sales operation in a bid to avoid conflict with its growing indirect channel.
A subsidiary of Swedish telco Telia, the UK operation has been operating since 1992. While the firm was traditionally a telco-only operator, it now provides a range of voice, data and IP value-added services to internet service providers, other carriers and small to medium sized enterprises.
Telia UK set up its data unit in October 2000 and Alan Ryan, the division's channel sales manager, said the channel is vital to sell and support the products.
"We require the value that the channel offers because we prefer to stick to our communications infrastructure core competency and look to our partners to bring in complementary applications and appliances," he said.
Telia said the sale of its direct sales force would remove any potential conflict with the channel and is reorganising its sales to focus on wholesalers, systems integrators and resellers. The company will use the channel to sell its traditional voice products, as well as convergence technologies that range from internet connections through to high-end IP virtual private networks.
Ryan claimed that the voice and data channels need to become one if the convergence market is to meet expectations. "The convergence marketplace is not growing as fast as we would like and one of the problems is the fact that there are two separate channels," he said.
Grahame Smee, a director at specialist distributor EquIP Technology, said this was a positive move for resellers to support their integration skills.
"It is always good to get companies that will work with the channel to integrate systems," he said. "The skills are in the channel but sometimes resellers require a bit of education and support from vendors and distributors."
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