Networking distributor Westcon UK is to bolster its IP telephony offering by way of an agreement with Citel Technologies to distribute the vendor's IP handset gateway.
The deal will strengthen the IP telephony that Westcon UK offers its resellers and will allow them to migrate customers gradually to IP telephony.
Citel gains access to resellers of 3Com's IP NBX switch, with which its handset gateway is compatible.
John Drolet, vice president of worldwide sales at Citel, which sells 100 per cent indirect, said: "Westcon gives us a group of 3Com resellers that sell the NBX and want to upgrade customers to IP telephony."
Westcon is currently Citel's only UK distributor, but Drolet explained that the company would soon also make a play for Nortel resellers. "The product is also compatible with Nortel's Norstar and M1 handsets and this will be the area where we will focus next," he said.
In a statement Richard Chilver, UK managing director at Westcon UK, noted that there was a demand for products offering smooth migration for businesses.
"Many business customers have either outgrown their current telecommunications solutions, are moving or expanding locations, or have been left without a migration plan from their current PBX vendor," he said.
The Citel product supports existing telephones as well as IP phones, according to Mike Sparkes, major accounts manager at reseller Satelcom.
Sparkes added that Citel's IP handset would make a good addition to Westcon's portfolio. "If a customer has a large installed base of legacy telephones they can install them alongside IP telephones and do not have to throw them away."
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