Crane Set to Respond as Capstan Turn the Screw

The UK importer of LG-Nortel products, Capstan Communications, has announced on their web site and written to LG resellers to say that they will be supplying them directly at an unspecified time later this year. Presently, although Capstan is the exclusive importer of LG-Nortel products, they are distributed to resellers in the UK by Crane Telecommunications who single handed established the market for LG key systems in the early 1990’s.

Gordon Smythe, Capstan’s MD commenting on the announcement said, “It is our view that at this time all resellers will be best served by a direct relationship through distribution. Capstan has grown its technical and sales support capabilities throughout the year and our exclusive focus on LG-Nortel product allow us to provide the highest levels of support and service possible.”

In the letter to reseller – Comms Business Magazine has a copy – Capstan say:

“We have taken the decision with the full knowledge and support of LG-Nortel management team, to only sell LG-Nortel products directly to resellers, and indeed, over the coming weeks and months many of you will get to meet senior members of their team.”
Crane however is set to positively respond to these events and will communicate to their LG channel partners’ news of their own.

Crane Director Will Morey commented on the Capstan announcement by saying, “This does not surprise us in any way and has been anticipated by Crane for some time. Crane will of course continue to support and supply LG products, as we still have significant stock and additional supplies are on order. We will operate ‘business as usual’ to satisfy reseller demand for sales and of course, professional support.”

Morey continued, “As you know Crane’s goal is to clearly establish our company as the No. 1 IP Telephony and Convergence supplier. We do not consider that LG is strategically important in meeting this goal. We believe their products are weak in comparison to major competitors in the area of IP Telephony, applications, data convergence and scalability.

Next week we expect to announce a new and exciting partnership with a global vendor who absolutely meets our criteria for success and trust that our resellers will share our excitement and future success. CEO David Grant, myself and the Crane Board are very positive about these changes which will result in considerable growth opportunities for our channel and ourselves.”

Mike Hayman of Liverpool based LG reseller MH Comms told Comms Business Magazine that he thought the letter he received from Capstan was a bit abrupt and verged upon employing bully boy tactics.

“We have been an LG reseller with Crane for six years and recently had been expecting news such as this but I feel the way Capstan had approached us was not very professional. We will continues selling LG products because we have to service a large base for adds moves and changes. We have however recently been looking with Crane at the Mitel product.”

“Today, customers buy people and not products so the relationships we have with our customers and suppliers is paramount. We have good relationship with Crane and know we can get the support required when we need it. It’s highly likely that we will now begin to focus on Mitel product.”