Alcatel-Lucent's UK distribution chief has hailed the arrival of Arrow into the vendor's channel as "a massive opportunity" to widen its reseller footprint.
Eamon Connaughton (pictured), head of UK & Ireland distribution at Alcatel-Lucent, also lauded the partner recruitment efforts of start-up distributor Incanix. The new addition joined the fold in January, putting an end to Sphinx's three years of exclusive access.
Alcatel-Lucent's top 12 UK and Ireland partners have the ability to buy direct from the vendor, should they wish, while the remaining 120 or so work through distribution channels.
Connaughton revealed that Incanix, which partners solely with Alcatel-Lucent, is already working with "over a dozen" resellers, seven of which are new recruits for the vendor.
"This was about enhancing our reseller base and also about giving them choice," he told ChannelWeb. "On both of those fronts, we have been successful."
The comms player's distribution channel was shaken up further in June when Sphinx announced it was to be acquired by Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions.
Connaughton accepted that "there will be challenges" in migrating the relationship from a £55m-turnover specialist to a $15bn broadline behemoth. But the partnership is here to stay, he asserted, and it presents a golden chance for Alcatel-Lucent to broaden its reach.
"We see this as a massive opportunity," explained Connaughton. "It gives Alcatel-Lucent the chance to penetrate the reseller base that Arrow has to widen our channel coverage."
Connaughton said he would "never say never" to the possibility of adding a third VAD next year, but stressed that the priority was to work with the two incumbents. Next year would see competition in the comms market hot up, added the distribution chief, and Alcatel-Lucent would be ready for battle.
"There is no doubt about it, 2011 is going to be an aggressive year for everybody," he said. "We have to be more innovative and we have to be competitive.
"We are looking forward to increasing our footprint and bringing a greater range of technology to market."
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