ADTRAN CONNECT 2011: Managed Services More a Focus in 2012
One of the underlying themes at ADTRAN CONNECT 2011 was ADTRAN’s subtle moves to include services as part of its enterprise lineup, and include managed services providers in its growing lineup of channel partners. It’s a strategy The VAR Guy thinks will work well for ADTRAN and help it move further into the ranks of the communications convergence providers worth watching.
To clarify, ADTRAN includes under its MSP umbrella large service providers such as Tier 2 and 3 carriers (think: Earthlink), which is an arguable definition. However, service providers’ customers have many of the same needs as traditional MSPs’ customers, and ADTRAN is all too happy to address those needs.
“There is more and more recognition that service providers are playing a larger role in the channel,” said Ted Cole, vice president of Channel Sales. “It’s something our competitors are now recognizing, and it’s surprising to me because we’ve been treating service providers as part of the channel for years now.”
It makes sense, given ADTRAN’s legacy in the carrier network space.
“Looking at the history of ADTRAN, we grew up on the carrier side and moved into the enterprise, so it’s natural for us to leverage our relationship and move out from the core to the edge,” Cole added.
And the fact service providers are looking to offer managed services via ADTRAN’s n-Command MSP network management platform demonstrate the demand from customers in this age of communications convergence, he said.
“Being able to offer a complete business services offering shows where service providers are going — as a channel they are becoming more and more relevant,” Cole said.
But, he added, ADTRAN is also looking beyond the large service providers and toward the more traditional solution provider ranks to proffer its managed services offerings.
“If you look at the base of partners more and more are becoming MSPs in some form or fashion, whether it’s network management of managed UC or whatever,” Cole said. “Our partners are looking for us to provide the management tools and working with partners as they transition.”
Clearly, ADTRAN is working to get more skin in the MSP game. Its networking products integrate with managed services platforms from the likes of N-able and Level Platforms, and n-Command offers complete installation and ongoing management of ADTRAN’s NetVanta and Total Access 9000 series communications technologies. Those make up two sides of a triangle that can only be completed by a willing and able partner base. And all sides being equal, The VAR Guy believe ADTRAN is well on its way.