New Nortel GM ups its channel efforts

New Nortel GM ups its channel efforts

Networking vendor, Nortel, is rolling out partner specialisations along with a dedicated SMB program to help strengthen its channel.

Newly appointed general manager of enterprise, Mark Fioretto, said it introduced specialisations this year to help integration partners deepen solutions selling skills. The first two categories offered under its long-standing Power partner program are security and unified communications.

"These [specialisations] are designed to encourage a high level of skills and focus, but also to have commensurate rewards for partners," he said. "This could include increased funds for marketing and a better transfer of information."

Fioretto said it was in discussions with several partners interested in getting the specialization stamp. Additional categories were in the pipeline.

Fioretto identified unified communications and SMB solutions as Nortel's two global focal points this year. The vendor struck an Innovative Communications Alliance with Microsoft last July to jointly develop products unifying business communications. The first of the combined offerings, the Converged Office, was unveiled in January. The vendor has also released a new Business Communications Manager (BCM) range targeting SMBs.

To help build BCM sales, Nortel plans to introduce a SMB-specific partner program in Q2. "The program will provide resellers with leads, products and the mechanisms to go to market," Fioretto said. "We want to leverage and compile knowledge in this space."

At a global level, Nortel has also signalled it will invest more into channel resources. Fioretto said the local team had already made a headstart, recruiting new business development managers as well as dedicated channel account managers. It would continue to up the headcount this year, he said.

Fioretto was appointed to the enterprise general manager's role in January. He replaced Nick Avakian, who left the vendor late last year. Fioretto has been with Nortel for 10 years, working initially as a channel account manager before moving into channel development and marketing across Asia-Pacific. Prior to joining the vendor, he worked with several local resellers including Logical Solutions and ComputerLand.

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