Tackling the industry-wide shortage of convergence skills is at the top of the list for new Nortel channel and marketing manager, Neville James.
In his new role, James will be responsible for managing enterprise channel partners including Commander, Optus, Telstra and 3D Networks, as well as running the marketing and events team. The position has been vacant for six months following the promotion of Caroline Hines. James said a major focus was getting partners skilled in both telephony and data.
"The biggest challenge we all face is the very real skills shortage in Australia," he said. "There aren't a lot of people trained up with data and voice convergence solutions, particularly at an enterprise level. I think we are going through one of those phases similar to when we went from analogue to digital telephony - it's such a fundamental change in technology. These shortages can't be address overnight."
Nortel has embarked on a partner training program around its new Innovative Communications Alliance with Microsoft and the jointly developed Converged Office products. It is also offering partners the option of taking Nortel technical staff onsite to assist with pre-sales and implementation work.
Prior to joining Nortel, James spent nine years running network systems integration businesses. His most recent company, Converge2, was sold to Commander.