F5 out to lure Middle East Nortel customers

F5 Networks has made a beeline for Nortel customers “affected” by the vendor’s recent bankruptcy protection filing

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  February 8, 2009

F5 Networks has made a beeline for Nortel customers “affected” by the vendor’s recent bankruptcy protection filing after revealing that a special buyback programme launched earlier in the US is being applied in the Middle East.

The scheme, which is aimed at owners of Nortel Alteon application switches, offers trade-in credits worth up to $9,000 as well as customised consulting services to simplify migration to F5’s BIG-IP application delivery controllers.

F5 is keen to exploit its rival’s current misery by ramming home the message that as application delivery networking is now central to data centres, end-users need a stable partner that can provide long-term market commitment.

“It is not for me to comment on Nortel’s fortunes, but clearly people must be concerned so what we are proposing is to offer potential customers that have Nortel load balances the option of an on-site consultancy by F5 technicians,” explained Paul Sherry, regional director for the Middle East and Africa at F5, which employs Secureway as its sole distributor in the region.

“There are no obligations or equipment that they have to buy,” continued Sherry. “The key thing here is that F5 is making a commitment to go and actually help customers. This is not just a thoughtless upgrade – taking one out and replacing it with another – what we are saying is that there is a huge amount of work they can do in terms of optimising bandwidth, reducing costs, making applications more functionally rich and improving performance.”

F5 is not the only networking vendor attempting to turn the heads of unsettled Nortel customers at the moment. Enterasys and Extreme have also launched campaigns to entice Nortel clients, while Juniper recently sent a letter to key Nortel resellers in the Middle East offering them a fast-track route to its J-Partner channel programme.

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