Nortel scales back partner numbers to improve its focus

Nortel scales back partner numbers to improve its focus

Nortel has cut its local nForce partner ranks in an effort to provide a sharper focus on more successful resellers in the market.

A/NZ SMB sales leader, Martin Hatcher, claimed that by trimming down the number of nForce partners, Nortel channel account managers could work more closely with resellers and develop skill sets more intensely. The vendor has had upwards of 100 partners recognised under its nForce program in recent years. Those who don’t meet nForce criteria will still have access to products but none of its reseller program benefits.

“We want to get that down to around 70 partners in the nForce program nationally,” Hatcher said. “By scaling back the number of partners we can spend more face-time selling.”

To help enhance nForce partner efforts in the market, Hatcher hinted that Nortel was in the process of fine tuning several new channel initiatives. It expects to double its SMB business this year and Hatcher highlighted data networking as one of the biggest opportunities in the market.

Hatcher said it had chosen its top nForce partners based on revenue. No performance targets had been set but this would be considered when the new streamlined program was in place.

“Some partners haven’t spent so much as a dollar with Nortel since they signed up,” he said. “The changes are necessary because there are many partners that have shown their commitment to Nortel and they would benefit from more one-on-one time with Nortel’s account managers.”

In other news, Nortel has appointed Garry Scarborough as director of channels and alliances for Asia-Pacific. He replaces Jason Moore, who left Nortel a few months ago to pursue other interests.

“As Nortel moves towards becoming an application and services company, we want our channel business to become much more applications and solutions focused,” Scarborough said.

His responsibilities involve coordinating Nortel’s go-to-market strategy, including how the vendor conducts business in the channel, and improving its current infrastructure. He will also oversee the introduction of new products into the channel and increase enterprise services and training.

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