As Nortel approaches the first anniversary of its nPower channel program it is offering lenient treatment to any partners experiencing teething troubles in the new set up and asking them to show similar levels of understanding.
Since issuing its new channel contracts in January, having streamlined reseller numbers from 3,000 to around 130 in 18 months, Nortel has invested several million dollars in training its business partners.
"We are auditing them [channel partners] on performance while making sure we live up to what we said by delivering products on time with the right capacity. In the first year we have had some issues, as have our partners, and there will be forgiveness from our point of view. We hope they can do the same," said Barry Southern, president of enterprise solutions for Nortel, Asia-Pacific.
"It will take time for resellers to move away from thinking about what they can sell to what they can do to make a customer's life easier. This is the way the channel will have to sell in the future because CIOs will no longer talk to anyone unless there is a real value proposition on the table."
"[Customers] are not interested in the latest, greatest, fastest machines, so channel partners have to become more forward thinking," he added.
Nortel has launched three new products in its enterprise range to enable the convergence of high-performance networks: Succession Communication Server for Enterprise 1000 Release 2.0, CallPilot Release 2.0 and Baystack 460-24T-PWR Power over Ethernet Switch.
Nortel is distributed in Australia by 3D Networks, Unitel, Express Data, Tech Pacific and LAN Systems. Southern said it is building on relationships with these and other distribution partners throughout Asia-Pacific to give it a wider geographical reach.