EADS Telecom Creates Channel Program

Best known for its high-end, large enterprise telephony systems, the vendor is bringing five-nines reliability to smaller customers through its new product line, the PointSpan M6500, said Kyle Priest, vice president of marketing at EADS Telecom North America, based here. "For our systems, reliability is a trademark," Priest said.

The platform also provides flexibility by supporting both circuit-switched and IP telephony so customers can migrate to VoIP at their own pace, Priest said.

The platform provides flexibility by supporting circuit-switched and IP telephony.

PointSpan M6500 includes four components: the M6501 and M6550 IP PBXes, the PointSpan Media Gateway and PointSpan Communication Server call-control software.

A typical M6500 implementation costs $75,000 for 100 users, the company said. For distributed environments, the platform supports up to 127 networked sites.

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To support solution providers, EADS Telecom North America has developed a four-tier channel program. Expert-level partners provide local coverage, are not required to make a revenue commitment and receive no market development funds (MDFs). Silver Expert partners provide regional coverage, are required to make a $250,000 revenue commitment and receive 3 percent MDF. Gold partners provide national coverage, are required to commit to $1 million in sales and receive 4 percent MDF. Gold International partners provide national or international coverage, must make a $5 million revenue commitment and receive 5 percent MDF.

Silver Expert, Gold and Gold International partners also must adhere to staffing requirements for trained sales and support personnel. Margins for program members range from 20 percent to 45 percent, the company said.

"[EADS has] a very high regard for channel partners," said John Breakey, vice president of Bellevue, Wash.-based 1NService, a nationwide network of integrators. They've been extremely cooperative, and they offer great margins."

1NService has signed a master VAR agreement with EADS Telecom North America that brings about 15 solution providers to the vendor's channel program.

The company's biggest challenge will be making a name for itself in the midmarket where players such as Cisco Systems are already established, Breakey said.

Formerly known as Intecom, EADS Telecom North America is a subsidiary of EADS Telecom and has sold telephony and contact-center products in the United States since 1979. The new product line and channel program represent a push by EADS Telecom to boost its presence in North America, Priest said.

"EADS Telecom has to have half its revenue come from the U.S. to remain viable," he said. "Right now, it's 12 percent."