Ericsson is to drop Alcatel as the point of distribution for its enterprise data products in favour of Equip Technology, sources close to Alcatel claimed.
Alcatel inherited the licence to distribute Ericsson's networking products when it acquired Newbridge Networks in February.
Insiders predicted at the time that the chances of Alcatel keeping the Ericsson licence were "just about nil".
After the acquisition of Newbridge, Ericsson's Fasttrack programme was integrated into Alcatel's carrier services and, according to sources, "they didn't see eye to eye on much".
This week Martin Cassidy, vice president of worldwide channels at Ericsson, confirmed that the arrangement with Newbridge's new owners were subject to close scrutiny.
"As a carrier-class channel, Alcatel is very good. When it comes to two-tier network distribution, expect an announcement soon," he said.
Meanwhile, networking distributor Data Connectivity (DC) is looking to bypass Alcatel as a source of Ericsson products. "We would like to source ACC products direct from Ericsson, rather than go through Alcatel," said Scott Dobson, product development manager at DC.
"We're negotiating for the data side of the web portfolio to come direct to us because we don't think they add anything."
Ericsson's web switch and IP telephony are also the subject of negotiations, added Cassidy.
He would not deny that the choice was a straight swap between DC and Equip. "All the senior management have left DC, otherwise we'd consider them," he said.
Confidence in DC was further dented by reports that Steve Worrell, its sales director, had quit.
Worrell declined to comment but added: "I can categorically say I'm not going to Equip."
Two former managing directors of DC, Neil Ledger and Graham Smee, form the management of Equip. Ian Gilbey, who worked under them at DC as technical director, is now employed at Ericsson.
First published in Computer Reseller News
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