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Nortel intros europartner prog

Partners in name only

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Nortel Networks has reorganised its European channel marketing programme to make it more flexible in meeting demand for converged voice and data networks.

The EMEA partner programme now includes a 'multi-tier' relationship model and accreditation scheme designed to allow a greater degree of specialisation. Tiers include: distributor, network reseller, sales agent, sales partner, product partner, solutions partner, and specialist support partner.

Nortel resellers can opt to become solution partners in an area of existing skills, while electing to be a sales partner in other areas they wish to develop. The manufacturer hopes its new programme will make it easier for resellers to gain accreditation in selling specific Nortel product lines.

Nortel has between 350-40 directly contracted partners in EMEA. Other firms sell Nortel kit obtained from organisation with a direct relationship with Nortel.

Giorgia Casnedi, Nortel's PR manager, said the programme integrated data resellers of acquired companies, such as Bay Networks and Alteon Network, under a single Nortel programme throughout EMEA.

As convergence becomes more of an issue Nortel has seen the need to adapt its channel framework and make it more flexible rather than having one level for everything, she added.

Last month, Nortel announced a third quarter net loss of $3.47 billion and plans to reorganise its business which, in part, have spurred changes to its partner programme.

After it divests itself of non-core businesses (which will affect around 10,000 workers), Nortel will focus on metro networks (which encompasses metro optical networking, IP networking, IP services and voice over IP products), wireless networks and optical long haul networks.

When is a partner not a partner

In its press release, Nortel said use of the term 'partner' (which it uses throughout) does not imply a partnership relationship between Nortel Networks and any of its resellers. This is a legal disclaimer, Nortel tells us. ®

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