BT Ignite Solutions has been named a Gold LAN and Router partner by Nortel Networks as part of the vendor's new partner programme [CRN, 19 November]. Peter Finter, director of channel strategy at Nortel Networks, said BT Ignite's accreditation reflects a significant investment in Nortel and means that the integrator can now provide its customers with a fully converged network.
BT Ignite said it went for this accreditation because LANs are becoming more complex, and Nortel, with its commitment to appropriate training outlined in its new partner programme, can support it in this product area.
Finter said that as part of Nortel's multi-tier partner relationship model it encourages partners of all sizes to co-operate, and smaller VARs can benefit from the technological skills of larger partners such as BT Ignite.
Andy Powell, European marketing director at Nortel specialist support partner NCR, said his company has assisted VARs in installing equipment under the new scheme.
"NCR has supported smaller VARs in providing optical equipment," he said. "With laser optics the skills required are quite high and the investment in the tools needed is very expensive, so we bring that value to the VARs we partner."
But Finter said that smaller VARs are also playing a key role in co-operating in the supply chain by adding products that sit on top of the main network infrastructure.
"There is an opportunity for the more flexible VARs to provide help to the likes of BT Ignite," he said, "because some of the systems require specialist products such as security that the larger partners might not provide."
He also said that flexible VARs have an important role to play in vertical markets and new technologies, which they are often first into.
"Our smaller VARs are typically more nimble and get into some of the newer markets and technologies where the bigger players are not normally found, such as selling wireless kit to retail customers," said Finter.
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