Distribution Central has signed on with communications vendor, Alcatel-Lucent, for its range of voice and data products.
Distribution Central sales and marketing director, Nick Verykios, said the vendor’s portfolio sat well with its IP network infrastructure and integration capabilities. The distributor’s NetWorld Systems business unit will concentrate on data and security while its Unity Systems division will focus on voice technology. Both will provide Alcatel-Lucent integration and support services to resellers, but the deal touched on all business units, he said.
Verykios said the deal was the most important signed by the distributor and provided NetWorld Systems with an end-to-end offering. The pair have been in discussions for a couple of years and were initially focused vendor’s data offerings.
“Three years ago, Alcatel-Lucent was originally attracted to Distribution Central’s logistic processes,” Verykios said. “They offered the end-to-end technology plus they had OEM relationships with some of our other vendors, such as Fortinet.
“We started talking about a data play as we didn’t have voice initially. When we bundled the voice in, it made sense to lead this relationship across the two business units… The hidden gem in Alcatel-Lucent is the data products.”
Verykios said it was now working with Alcatel-Lucent partners but also hoped to attract new players, as well as identify vertical markets where the vendor hadn’t had a strong presence previously.
Alcatel-Lucent enterprise general manager, Mark Buckley, said the agreement was aimed at increasing take-up of its products from SMBs through to the enterprise and carrier markets.
He cited IP address management as just one technology area of opportunity.
“We have a broad portfolio of products – in a lot of cases, certain products are taken by certain customers,” Buckley said. “With Distribution Central, there’s a lot of breadth and opportunity in the market that wasn’t being addressed as fully as it could have been.”
The vendor will continue working with existing Australian distributors, IPL, VExpress and Gateway. Buckley also pointed to the popularity of the managed services model as a catalyst for the new partnership.
“It’s not just about putting CPE equipment in… we needed a partner with a similar vision,” he said. “We have a different focus for SMB, mid and large customers. Distribution Central has the same approach.”
It will offer deal protection for the vendor’s channel and will be responsible for allocating appropriate discounts based on reseller accreditation.
Buckley and Verykios said partner enablement and training was a major focus.
Distribution Central’s Red Education business will work in conjunction with the Alcatel-Lucent University to provide certification and training programs for existing partners to expand their skill set. They will also provide bridging programs for partners with expertise in other vendor products.