Nortel Networks is ramping up a new program that aims to help VoIP partners mine its biggest resource: its legacy telephony customers.
Nortel's IPT 1-2-3 initiative was developed to address a problem the Brampton, Ontario-based company saw in VoIP sales, said Pat Patterson, director of North American IP telephony marketing. "When we looked at the large installed base that Nortel has in hand, we weren't gaining our fair share of the IP telephony market," he said.
Standing in Nortel's way was the complexity of its price quote process for migration from its traditional telephony systems to VoIP, according to Patterson. "There's a lot of value we can bring to our installed base migrating to VoIP because they don't have to migrate everything. But with flexibility comes complexity," he said.
In many cases, Nortel's channel partners were finding it easier to quote a "rip and replace" solution from Cisco Systems rather than work through the intricacies of quoting a Nortel migration that would mix old and new gear, Patterson noted.
Bart Graf, co-founder and director of Integration Partners, a Lexington, Mass.-based Nortel partner, said the new program provides incentives that are encouraging legacy customers to migrate to VoIP.