Nortel to Expand SMB Channels

As part of its ongoing strategy to grow its SMB presence in Europe, Nortel is working closely with its value-added distributors to accelerate the recruitment and development of new qualified SMB resellers. The drive will initially begin in the UK, Ireland, Germany, France and Spain and will be extending across EMEA beginning 2007.

As well as expanding its SMB channels, Nortel is investing extensively in a themed end-to-end marketing campaign – Grow Your Business. Think Small. The campaign is designed to equip existing and new partners with materials illustrating how Nortel’s SMB solutions can translate into bigger net profits while meeting customer cost performance and application needs.

The comprehensive campaign also offers a range of activities such as online and print advertising, targeting the end user and channel audiences, and regionally run business road-shows.

A leading element of the campaign will be a localised direct marketing programme. Nortel will be one of the first vendors to offer a targeted SMB data approach that delivers segmentation of early adopters and identifies verticals of SMB end user communities. This is then mapped against the regional locality of Nortel’s partners allowing resellers to develop highly targeted marketing campaigns that create truly new business opportunities.

“Nortel is working with SMB resellers who understand today’s new world of convergence, applications and mobility and can add value to our award-winning portfolio of small and medium market solutions,” said Amanda Giddins, director, Distribution/Indirect Reseller Business, EMEA. “Nortel has been implementing a number of market initiatives this year to simplify the way we work with our SMB resellers, offering them new business opportunities with minimal up front cost and virtually no down-time through direct local Nortel support,” said Giddins.

Earlier this year, Nortel introduced its new SMB Accelerate Partner Programme to make it easier to work with new and existing partners. Becoming a Nortel SMB Business Partner brings many advantages for committed Nortel resellers including generous rewards in exchange for good business performance. Since it was first announced four months ago, 150 new SMB convergence resellers have registered to join Nortel’s SMB Accelerate Partner Programme in Europe.

“The SMB resellers we have recruited to date are specialists in their field, providing first-class support and service to small and medium businesses. We are working with our committed resellers to increase their revenue and profit streams enabling them to offer new IP applications, convergence and secure mobile offerings with the knowledge they are fully supported by a market leading provider.”

Accelerate was extended to include the Building Blocks reseller margin incentive, an innovative incentive programme developed to increase SMB resellers’ margins when they sell across portfolio, specifically Nortel’s SMB solutions. These solutions are divided into three specific Building Blocks – converged voice and applications, converged data and secure mobility.

Westcon Group, Azlan, Ingram Micro and Crane – Nortel’s leading value-added distributors – together with Nortel, are hosting a number of events to engage resellers in the new marketing initiatives – Grow your Business -Think Small. The events explain the range of available resources, support and free tools such as training, pre-sales help desk and competitive margins designed to accelerate the profitability of these partners and increase the adoption of Nortel technology in the SMB sector.

Andrew Saunders, Managing Director of Crane Nortel told Comms Business Magazine, “Crane has already been working with the BCM50 and associated initiatives such as the Building Blocks promotion to recruit resellers focused on the SMB sector – we signed agreements with eight new partners in the last 2 weeks. Nortel’s expanded SMB portfolio and these new reseller focused marketing initiatives will allow Crane to further ramp up our reseller recruitment and development activity into the important SMB sector.”

“We welcome this new approach from Nortel that is tailored to exactly fit the needs of resellers selling into the SMB market” said Guy Koster, VP Technology Solutions Group, at Westcon Group Europe. ”Westcon Group have already experienced early successes with Nortel’s proposition as it provides clear value in helping Westcon Group deliver on its mission of recruiting new customers on behalf of Nortel. Their comprehensive offering gives us flexibility to deliver optimized SMB solutions, training, incentives and more margin-making opportunities to the reseller which also enables them to differentiate themselves in their local market. Nortel is to be applauded for their unique approach compared to other vendors targeting the SMB market.”