Westcon signs Alcatel-Lucent
Westcon’s new distribution agreement with Alcatel-Lucent will cover data products in the UK. Westcon already supplies Nortel, Avaya and Cisco products, and many UK partners have bought data products direct from Alcatel for historic reasons, but it is hoped that they will switch to Westcon.
‘That’s it as far as distribution announcements go for the UK this year,’ says Graeme Allan, country manager for Alcatel-Lucent enterprise activities in UK and Ireland. Partners are expecting more details of the new A-L channel programme in the next few weeks.
The move fits with Westcon’s aim of being a substantial player in data/convergence security and mobility, and the addition of the product line will not require too much new skilling up or new territory development. It will aim to offer value-added distribution elements of credit, product, configuration and similar initiatives while hopefully playing a part in the development of the Alcatel Lucent channel programme which is currently being worked out.
‘We like to see channel integrity and retaining value in such a programme,’ says Simon Thompson, UK sales director at Westcon. ‘And while we’d like to see those partners being supplied direct from us, it’s their choice.’
On the continuing situation at Alcatel Lucent caused by the merger and ensuing staffing scale-down, he says ‘Some disruption is inevitable with a merger of that size. We believe they’ll get it right.’ Graeme Allan agrees that with two such large entities, no short cuts are possible, ‘but a lot of progress has already been made’. On the Westcon deal, he expects to be able to displace some of the 3Com and Extreme Networks business, where there are gaps in their portfolios, and also offer lower-cost solutions against Cisco.
Westcon will supply Alcatel-Lucent's OmniSwitch and OmniStack IP networking technology and partners will get a dedicated Alcatel-Lucent account team at Westcon with in-depth knowledge and experience of the data product offering, as well as local stock, logistics and reseller marketing.
‘Westcon's leading position in the networking arena meant it was the ideal partner for the distribution of our data networking solutions,’ says Graeme Allan. ‘We've been significantly increasing our data market share during 2006 and we expect the distribution deal with Westcon to add further fuel to this growth.’Westcon is gearing up now to take the new products and the doors will be open very soon, Simon Thompson promises, initially in France, and then in the UK.
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