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Westcon wins Nortel

01 May 09

Shortly after announcing the arrival of its financing program in New Zealand, Westcon also announced an exclusive deal with Nortel. The telecommunications specialist has signed an exclusive distribution deal with Westcon in New Zealand, meaning that Express Data (ED) is no longer a Nortel distributor in the country.

Westcon has been Nortel’s largest partner in Australia for over 10 years and the strength of that partnership is now being extended to this side of the Tasman. ED received its 60 days’ notice from Nortel in mid-April.

“They [Nortel] have a very strong relationship with some partners here and part of our commitment is to build out the tier two channel for them and start to take some of their new products to market,” commented Wendy O’Keeffe, Managing Director of Westcon.

As part of the new deal, Westcon is investing more heavily in the New Zealand market. The distributor uses what O’Keeffe calls a “vendor-fi rst strategy”, looking at vendors’ gaps and fi lling them in. Westcon is looking at moving and upgrading to new premises in New Zealand, as well as hiring new staff to work on the Nortel side of the business. The company has taken on the distribution of the whole Nortel product line with the exception of CSK, a software-based enterprise voice product that Nortel sells through a direct model.

Despite Nortel having fi led for bankruptcy protection, it is ‘business as usual’ for both companies, assured O’Keeffe: “Initially there was a lot of concern and worry about it. We’re seeing still a lot of opportunity from a quoting perspective, we’re seeing business still coming through. There’s defi nitely been some decline in larger projects but our attitude is ‘business as usual’. They’ll come out of it somehow.”

Westcon and Nortel are also strengthening their relationship outside New Zealand. The distributor is going to set up business models in Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia, where Nortel already has a presence, and will take on the distribution of Nortel’s products in those countries.