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By | Paul Kunert 30th September 2011 14:01

Huawei inks distie deals in enterprise push

Micro P confirmed, TD Azlan expected

Huawei has inked a distie deal with Micro P in the UK and is understood to have inked a deal with TD Azlan across Europe as it steps up efforts to give rivals a bloody nose in the enterprise space.

The Chinese giant has vowed to push all of its enterprise business through resellers and has already brought on board ex-Sun sales director Simon Culmer to run the UK and former HP vet Dave Poskett to manage channels locally.

Dominique Vanhamme – who left Cisco in August – is running the European partner network for Huawei.

He told The Reg that the firm is "open for business".

"We are hiring so many people so fast that I have given up trying to keep up," he said. "The target is 700 for the enterprise business I've just joined across Europe."

The firm refused to reveal the current tally.

Distie and reseller recruitment is also speeding up, with Vanhamme confirming plans to have one pan-regional wholesaler and country-specific distributors, although he refused to confirm continued industry talk that TD Azlan is set to join the fold.

Micro P GM Simon Barnard reckoned Huawei could be a "credible alternative to existing vendors" and would appeal to business customers facing IT budget constraint.

"The global size and scale of Huawei make them one of the few tech giants yet to enter the UK market,” he said in a statement.

In January, Huawei split into four business units: carrier, terminal, other ventures and enterprise. The enterprise unit will be entirely handled by network integrators, systems integrators and traditional IT dealers.

"We decided at a worldwide level to have an indirect-only model for enterprise," said Vanhamme.

Last calendar year, the vendor turned over $23bn and employed 120,000 staffers, with 56,000 based in R&D. It did not disclose profits.

The mandatory channel programme has been devised and Vanhamme reckons Huawei can attract resellers to sign up by wafting cash under their noses, including rebates and marketing funds – a tried and tested method for other vendors.

"Channel partners have been squeezed by low margins for too long and now they have got an opportunity coming their way," he said.

Cisco boss John Chambers has said that he Huawei as a long-term threat and fears its rival may use profits generated in its homeland to subsidise and undercut rivals in the rest of the world.

Vanhamme described this as an "unfair" perception: "Our strategy is not to be the cheapest, we want to be make sure that we have a profitable channel."

Some resellers will clearly need convincing: "Huawei is a good small business play but fewer mid-market and corporate customers will invest in that technology – there are so many established competitors," said a reseller source.

TD Azlan was unavailable to comment at the time of going to press. ®

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