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Nortel Beefs Up Channel Focus

Nortel Networks Ltd. unveiled a new strategy for its North American enterprise channel program today, placing the program at the center of plans to drive growth in the SMB segment. As part of the new direction, the vendor announced expanded partnerships with three value-added distributors: Ingram Micro, SYNNEX Corp. and Westcon Group Inc.

The three VADs will focus on recruiting thousands of VARs to the program, the vendor said, to sell voice, data and wireless products, including the Business Communication Manager (BCM) 50, a VoIP solution. The VADs also will provide the channel with training and support and offer streamlined access to vendor resources.

As part of its enterprise partner renewal, Nortel announced eight key initiatives designed to strengthen channel relationships today:

1. Services firmly embed services within Nortel’s broader enterprise channel strategy to deliver value-added service offerings.

2. Training further develop and maintain a suite of channel sales training modules that focus on foundational skills and knowledge, hands-on lab sessions and sales certification.

3. Tools further integrate, simplify and enhance channel order-management, configuration and reporting tools.

4. Communication establish a simple, predictable and consistent plan to communicate with channel partners.

5. Programs continue to enhance and expand channel partner relationships to maximize coverage, recognize partners aligned to Nortel strategic technologies, leverage stocking distribution and develop new and strategic partnerships.

6. Coverage further implement a systematic process to dynamically identify geographic and competency gaps and bring partners on board as needed to attain an optimal coverage model.

7. Channel governance further improve the process for managing channel programs and direct/indirect customer engagements.

8. New product introduction implement consistent process to introduce new products into the channel to address key partner requirements, training and accreditation support.

“The SMB market presents the greatest opportunity for Westcon to enhance and add value to Nortel SMB solutions,” said Anthony Daley, executive vice president of the Americas at Westcon Group. “As Nortel’s largest distributor in North America, we are committed to helping resellers grow their SMB business at every level from lead generation to sales support and training to reach a wider SMB customer audience and provide a context for helping them to succeed.”


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