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Unified access push for Alcatel-Lucent...

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise is on the prowl for new Kiwi partners as it looks to begin a major push for its network and unified access solutions offerings locally.

Chris Downes, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise channel sales director for Australia and New Zealand, says the growth in wireless and BYOD is driving investment for companies in their networks, with a trend towards unified access solutions.

“There is a significant amount of investment needed to upgrade the networks to support wireless and BYOD," he says. "It's a key growth area for us in the next 12 to 18 months.”

Downes acknowledges it's an area Alcatel-Lucent hasn't been strong in in New Zealand in the past, and says getting an appropriate channel in place in New Zealand will be a priority this year, with the company focusing on growing market share over the next two years.

Connector Systems is Alcatel-Lucent's distributor focusing on the SMB market, and will be helping drive the vendor's offerings locally, however Downes says 'we are potentially looking for other new direct partners as well'.

He says the company will be looking for partners who are focused on the mid-market enterprise, have a strong data heritage and are actively working in areas such as network infrastructure, data centres or network mobility, and have an 'active presence' in Alcatel's key verticals of healthcare, tertiary education, hospitality and government.

Downes was appointed to the role in late March, and is responsible for driving the vendor's overall partner strategy, planning and execution for the region, and enabling partner success with the company's portfolio of enterprise solutions.

Downes is also charged with driving the growth of Alcatel-Lucent's position in the unified communications market.

He says he's keen to see New Zealand companies transition to cloud voice solutions, such as the company's OpenTouch solutions, which enable unified communications as a service to the mid-market and enterprise markets.

Cogent recently won awards asAlcatel-Lucent's Best Unified Communications Cloud Partner of the Year and APAC New Business Model Partner of the Year 2013 for its successful go-to-market in New Zealand with OpenTouch Enterprise Cloud and its as-a-service model offering based on OpenTouch for SMBs.

Downes says Cogent had one of the first customer wins in Asia Pacific with OpenTouch.