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Huawei peels back the covers in pursuit of partner love

Ok, so reseller recruitment was slow but we want to bed other partners too

Huawei intends to hop into bed with nearly 50 per cent more partners this year in order to boost its sluggish enterprise sales in Europe.

"Last year we had over 700 partners (Of all types) in Western Europe — the target for 2015 is to increase that number to 1,000," said Leon He, head of the enterprise biz in Western Europe.

"This year we have made fast progress on the number and quality of partners,” he told The Register at Huawei's Networking Conference 2015.

The move to cosy up with IT vendors and "co-innovate" appears to be a departure from its previous strategy three years ago to attract European resellers to flog its wares.

That push failed because rivals Cisco tactics delayed distributor recruitment — Tech Data suddenly got cold feet. Weak logistics and dodgy firmware didn't exactly ease the oils of commerce either.

Tech Data inherited a relationship with Huawei when it acquired SDG but has since tried to work out how to shift the kit, and the agreement is effectively over.

The company will announce its new partners next month. Last year Accenture was one of the big names to pucker up for the Shenzhen-based company.

Despite strong consumer and carrier sales in Europe, the company's enterprise unit — launched in the region four years ago — is still tiny in comparison to overall revenue. Enterprise sales for 2014 were $3.1bn (£2bn), seven per cent of total sales. Of that, 60 per cent came from from China.

Exec He acknowledged that uptake in enterprise services is a challenge, as many potential partners have an established ecosystem with its rivals.

"Some vendors might say 'we will think about collaborating with Huawei in three-five years'. This is the typical challenge we face in Western Europe."

Yan Lida, president of Huawei's enterprise biz group, said the company was keen to work with more UK partners "to join profit together.”

He said: “[Around] 78 per cent of our revenue [comes from] working together with partners, we want to increase per cent to 100 per cent - so they are very important to our enterprise business." ®

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