Nortel claims it is on track to recruit 1000 resellers under its new SMB partner program by the end of the year.
The nForce initiative is aimed at those operating in the up to 250-user market. It comes on the back of the vendor's launch of several SMB-focused networking products this year.
NForce partners get access to the Business series of switching, routing and wireless access product range for SMBs. These can be centrally managed using Nortel's business element manager application, general manager of enterprise, Mark Fioretto, said.
"This gives partners the ability to manage a total solution using a software tool which has mainly been used for managing enterprise customer requirements," he said.
Other partner benefits include demo kit as well as sales and marketing collateral via the partner information centre. Nortel has also unveiled a solutions generator tool, which resellers can employ to help configure a solution for specific customer needs.
The nForce program officially launched in April. It sits alongside Nortel's existing nPower enterprise partner model.
Fioretto said it had started road shows across the country to educate partners on its SMB product suite and the new channel program. It has also created podcasts and a series of e-books to help resellers learn how to install and manage its products.
"All of these tools are to help partners position a solution to their SMB customers," he said.
Although he declined to discuss how many SMB resellers it had signed up to date, Fioretto said it was confident of reaching its target of 1000 nForce partners by the end of the calendar year. Rather than push into specific vertical markets, he said it was simply looking to recruit resellers in each state.
"In SMB there are naturally some partners who either do well or are set up to service particular verticals. We are not setting up to look that way," he said. "Our main aim is offer an end-to-end solution that is simple to set up and that provides customers with a lower cost of ownership."