Reseller FastActive Networks said its close relationship with Nortel was key to its winning a contract to implement a £1m IP network at the University of Ulster.
Patrick Eccles, managing director at the Nortel Sales Partner, said it was the first major deal to come from its relationship with Nortel.
"We could not have won this deal without the support of Nortel," he said. "This will now help us promote Nortel to other customers, and we have a few big deals in the pipeline with other universities."
The reseller beat off multivendor and multichannel tenders to win the contract to build a voice-ready IP network, which is to be used as a flagship to generate other business.
Eccles said the partnership between the reseller and the vendor enabled it to beat off stiff competition. "All the main resellers and their vendors tended for this deal, and the university had one of the best specifications we have ever seen."
FastActive is working towards achieving the Nortel's Gold Product Partner status after it was enlisted by Nortel following its acquisition of Bay Networks in June 1998.
Barry Dillon, business manager for Nortel, said that the vendor sees the channel as the only route to market because of its customer relationships. "We needed FastActive because it will have direct relationships with the customer and deliver the network and offer support."
Eccles confirmed that FastActive will also support and maintain the network, which will add margin on top of the £1m product sales.
Harry Young, IT manager at the university, said all the major vendors were represented in the 13 tenders received. "There were three Nortel resellers bidding for the contract and support, knowledge and costs were the factors that won the contract for FastActive."
Separately, reseller Logical UK has won a major contract with Sheffield Hallam University for an upgrade to the university's IT network, which serves 27,000 people.
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