ADTRAN Dials Up Unified Communications Opportunities
ADTRAN is well-known in the networking market. Now, the company is making the move into unified communications. I spoke to Ted Cole, senior VP channel sales at ADTRAN, to get a feel for the company’s channel program and unified communications move. Cole’s key takeaway: He thinks partners can now build end-to-end solutions leveraging ADTRAN’s product portfolio. Here’s a recap of the conversation.
Cole says ADTRAN spends considerable time focusing on recruiting the right partners and focused on growing their solutions — across routers, switches, business gateways, and unified communications. (Here’s the official ADTRAN NetVanta Unified Communications announcement.)
The recent surge in the product portfolio was part of ADTRAN’s desire to lower the cost of ownership (of an ADTRAN solution), and increase customer intimacy. VARs, in turn, potentially gain the ability to wrap more services around ADTRAN’s growing product portfolio.
Then we got down to brass tax. ADTRAN is maintaining a balancing act — pushing into new markets even as it maintains relationships with Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and other big IT vendors.
I asked Cole for a few takeaways for the VARs out there. His response: ADTRAN…
- completely values their partner relationships and doesn’t compete with partners.
- always looks for ways to help increase profit margins, and increase “stickiness” they have with their users.
- always tries to make it easier to do business with the company.
So far, partners seem to be reacting well to those messages. Compared to the overall networking industry, ADTRAN’s revenue has held up reasonably well during the economic storm.
At a recent partner summit in November 2009, Cole said the feedback they gained was incredibly valuable. Looking ahead, Cole thinks partners now have all the pieces required to build pure ADTRAN solutions.