NEC wants to become a top three supplier of IP telephony in Europe by harnessing the skills and customer base of resellers.
Voice and data convergence distributor Crane Telecommunications is looking for dedicated resellers to take on its latest product range from NEC, following an exclusive distribution deal.
Crane is now stocking and offering value add services on NEC's range of IP-enabled PBXs, which can be upgraded to IP when customers require.
The distributor currently deals in Avaya and LG Voice-over-IP products and hopes that the deal with NEC will expand its market coverage.
"Our current range accounts for about 20 per cent of the UK IP telephony market and with NEC we hope to break into the other 80 per cent," said Martin Northend, NEC product director at Crane.
Jonathan Rigg, business manager for corporate network sales at NEC, explained that the vendor is planning on breaking into the top three selling vendors in this market. "Our main targets will be Avaya and Nortel," he said.
According to analyst EuroLAN Research, the UK top three in this market are Alcatel, Siemens and Nortel.
Crane said that it will not be targeting its existing resellers with the new range but will focus on building a new channel of about 12 dedicated resellers.
"We are looking for resellers that can attack the middle market and, because the product combines pure IP, we are looking for voice resellers that want to move into data or resellers that want to move into IP telephony," said Northend.
Richard Laval, technical manager at reseller Hydra, said that NEC had not been a big player in the UK in the past compared to Nortel, Lucent and Cisco, but that building a channel could be a good way for it to compete.
"NEC has a lot of expertise in the core parts of voice networks, mainly at carriers and telcos, but what it does not have is an installed base of end users," he explained. "The channel could help it get this."
Northend agreed that the reseller channel is an ideal way of building a customer base within the enterprise space.
"This is the first time that NEC has thought about getting its brand into the corporate sector with these products. The channel model it is using is a replication of its successful US strategy," he said.
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