Nortel and Express Data terminate partnership

Nortel and Express Data terminate partnership

Nortel and Express Data have officially parted company in Australia, ending a 15-year distribution partnership. The decision is part of a full review of the vendor's channel line-up.

Express Data general manager, Ross Cochrane, said the pair would continue to service the New Zealand market. However, the businesses were taking different approaches to the networking space locally, he said.

"We wanted to ensure that we investigated all avenues and opportunities," he said. "But over time, we had moved down different strategic paths." The decision to end the relationship had been amicable, Cochrane said.

The announcement follows Nortel's decision to cut ties with Ingram Micro in April.

General manager of enterprise networks, Nick Avakian, said Ingram's broad focus and large base of competing vendors had been catalysts for the move. At the same time, it announced specialist player, Anixter, as its new supplier.

Avakian said it would now restrict its distribution line-up to Anixter and longstanding partner, LAN Systems, but he did not rule out re-establishing its relationships with Ingram and ED at a later date.

"Down the track, if the market changes and our requirements change, we will revisit them," he said.

Although its Nortel business had declined over the past 12 months, Cochrane said it had still been a significant relationship.

"But it isn't just about doing the revenue it's also about making sure all aspects of the business are aligned."

In April, Cochrane told ARN the distributor was reviewing the relationship because of Nortel's shift to more direct dealings with resellers.

While admitting the vendor maintained direct relationships with it high-end integration partners, Avakian said it would shortly increase the range of products available through its distribution channel.

Traditionally, Nortel had only offered resellers access to data products including switches, routers, LAN and WAN equipment.

The new arrangement would see its high-end handsets and forthcoming voice products for the SME market available through distribution, he said. Nortel would also conduct a review of its resellers to determine whether there are any gaps in its line-up, Avakian said.

"This is more about bringing new people on," he said. "We are introducing new products that will attract a different type of reseller base. We'll look at whether these fit with the business models of our current partners."

Avakian said he expected new resellers would be from across the market.

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