Lucent looks to revitalise its channel

Lucent looks to revitalise its channel

Network equipment maker Lucent Technologies is ramping up its channel programs, and is also on the lookout for additional distributors in a bid to expand into new markets.

Lynette Elliott, director of marketing and strategy Australia/New Zealand at Lucent, said the equipment maker was working on broadening and strengthening its channel programs. Its BusinessPartner Advantage Program, which will have three different levels of accreditation, is due to be launched this Friday [May 11].

Elliott said over the next seven or eight months the company will be undertaking an extensive campaign to build the Lucent brand within the channel space.

"Lucent has not been strongly active in the channel space - so it's a new focus, it's a new strategy for the organisation."

Bruce Bennie, Lucent sales manager of emerging carriers and channels, says in the past the strategy had been data driven, but the company would now be offering additional products and "flavours" of products to its channel partners. "We've basically got a number of vertical product groups and we're probably going to be approaching some people in those market spaces to on-sell those products as well."

Lucent is on the lookout for additional resellers, particularly in vertical markets. Its revamped accreditation program will work on a product-specific basis, with the level the reseller achieves dependent upon the level of commitment and training that the partner undertakes.

Bennie also revealed Lucent is on the look out for additional distributors. Asked by ARN what Lucent was looking for in new distributors, Bennie said: "I guess what we've looking for is business partners we can work with and bring our product to market - it really depends on the product we're offering to that market."

Currently the network maker has four main distributors: Express Data, Asnet, Lidcam and Integrity Data Systems.

According to Bennie, there will be differentiation between the product lines its new distributors will take on board so he doesn't envisages conflict between its various distributors. "At the end of the day they're going to be attacking different vertical markets with different products."

Traditionally Lucent has had mainly a direct model, particularly focused on the telco and large carrier space, with most of its channel business at the low-end ISP space. "Effectively what we're doing is obviously strengthening that [the low-end ISP] and also extending it into other markets as well. Enterprise would be a market we'd like to get into as well and the channel's a good fit for that."

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