Nortel expands IP-based packages for SMBs

Published: April 17th, 2007

Last fall Nortel Networks released bundled packages to help its channel partners sell IP-based telephony solutions to small businesses.

On Monday it detailed another bundle it will release next month to broaden the accessibility of its products to companies of up to 50 workers.

To be marketed to customers under the “My Business” banner, the latest initiative consists of five packages of LAN and WAN products priced at less than $4, 600, plus special training and marketing for partners to help them sell.

“This campaign has enabled partners to work with Nortel to penetrate the four-to-50 employees segment of the small-medium business in North America,” said Mike Segura, Nortel’s director of SMB and data marketing programs.

The idea is to create packages that include everything a small business needs to implement an IP telephony solution.

Segura said some of the packages work out to an average cost of $435 per user.

Among the advantages to VARs, he said, is that they can add service options such as installation, maintenance, software upgrades and support.

The solutions are:

–IP Telephony packages, built around Nortel’s Business Communications Manager server. They include including workstation licences, trunking, voicemail and unified messaging;

–SMB LAN and WAN Starter Kit, which Nortel said has everything an SMB needs to build a robust data network, including a Wi-Fi access point, the Business Secure Router 222 and its Ethernet Switch 50, for $1,775;

–SMB Converged LAN and WAN Starter Kit with VPN, which has a larger router than the previous package, which Nortel said makes it ideal for managed services. It will sell for $4,120;

–the same kit but without VPN, for $3,320;

There’s also a Converged LAN/WAN Starter Kit with VPN for more than 50 users, which sells for $4,520.

For channel partners, Segura said Nortel will have a demand generation program to transform leads that can be easily closed. In addition, it will host one-day training sessions in at least five Canadian cities to push the campaign and explain the product offerings.

He didn’t have a list of the dates or cities.

Other tools for helping channel partners sell include an online SMB Quote Builder to simplify ordering (available next month), a Web-based SMB Coach Tool for on-demand solution proposals and marketing tools.

Segura said the campaign is an evolution of the “IPT 1-2-3 for SMB” bundles released last fall around the company’s Business Communications Manager 50 for up to 16 users.

“The real differentiation from the packages we launched last year is we scaled up with system sizes to get to the 50-user range, where we need to be in that sweet spot in the marketplace,” he said.

The latest packages also include ones allow partners to offer managed services for the telephony systems.

“This campaign is very much tied to partner profitability,” he also said.