Nortel introduces partner specialties

Networking vendor wants channel to strengthen customer relationships with technology specialisations

Networking vendor, Nortel, is rolling out partner specialisations to encourage its integration channel to invest in solution selling skills.

The first two categories offered under its long-standing nPower 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," newly appointed general manager of enterprise, Mark Fioretto, 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 specialisation stamp. Additional categories were in the pipeline.

"We are being selective about who to work with as it does require investment from both us and the partner," 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.

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.

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. For more on Nortel's channel plans, check out this week's edition of ARN.