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The carrier made investments, as did its partners.
November 7, 2018
(Pictured above: AT&T’s Zee Hussain on stage at AT&T Fusion in Plano, Texas, Nov. 6.)
AT&T FUSION — With great growth comes great investment.
AT&T Partner Solutions (APS) has modeled that sentiment in the last year. AT&T’s umbrella channel organization grew new sales revenue 78 percent over that time.
But AT&T Business fueled the growth of its channel with a proportional investment, giving solution providers increased back-end support and marketing resources, and adding personnel to the sales teams of ACC Business and the AT&T Alliance Channel — both indirect programs under AT&T Partner Solutions.
AT&T’s Zee Hussain
Zee Hussain, senior vice president and channel chief of AT&T Partner Solutions, told the partner audience at the inaugural AT&T Fusion in Plano, Texas, Tuesday that his program engaged in more than 20,000 training interactions with partners in the last year.
“We’re constantly repeating the message, ‘We’re becoming friendlier, we’re becoming easier, and we’re a very rewarding channel,” said Kevin Leonard, AT&T’s vice president of alternate channels and the leader the Alliance Channel.
But that’s just the investment on the AT&T side. The new resources came to the solution providers with stipulations.
Here’s our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.
BCDR Solutions was one of AT&T’s top partners, but Mark Bruno, its chief operating officer, said its meeting with newly appointed Zee Hussain last year didn’t leave them off the hook.
BCDR’s Mark Bruno
“He told us, ‘It’s not good enough, guys. We need you to do more. While you had a great 2017, we need you to at least double next year and then triple in 2019. We were taken aback; we thought we were doing a good job.”
Bruno said what justified the call to action was the fact that AT&T was backing up its expectations with support. BCDR ended up doubling its revenue for 2018. The evolution of AT&T’s channel program continues this week at the Fusion partner conference, where Partner Exchange and Alliance Channel members are gathering.
Because AT&T’s practice is “to leverage best practices from both channels,” the company continues to make products, services, incentives and resources previously exclusive to one program available to other programs in AT&T Partner Solutions.
Alliance Channel gets access to the cloud-based portal Partner Exchange members have been using to find resources. The Alliance Channel is also getting “Marketing as a Service” from AT&T Business for increased reimbursement when they market with particular vendors. APIs previously exclusive to Partner Exchange – like the one for AT&T Dedicated Internet – are now available to the Alliance Channel.
And on the other foot, Partner Exchange gets access to a GM Connected Car Wi-Fi solution that was previously exclusive to Alliance Channel. Partner Exchange is also adding digital customer paperwork – AT&T Mobile Forms – that Alliance Channel was using.
And in some cases both programs are getting …
… something new.
Partner Exchange and Alliance Channel both now can access AlienVault’s portfolio; AT&T acquired the vendor this year. The security provider offers a unified security management (USM) platform. It became available to partners at the same as it became available to AT&T’s direct force.
— James Anderson (@JamesAndersonCP) November 6, 2018
“AlienVault will help further set apart AT&T channel programs,” said Mike LaPeters, AlienVault’s vice president global channel. “With strong demand in the cybersecurity market, AlienVault USM will enable solution providers to help their customers meet their security goals.”
AlienVault already has a channel program that includes MSPs and resellers. Hussain told Channel Partners that AT&T Partner Solutions is looking for an “intersection point” with those partners. Right now the goal is to learn more about the acquired company and not rush into anything.
AT&T’s Kevin Leonard
“Right now the focus is ‘do no harm,’” Hussain said. “That’s a very successful business. They have a thriving channel.”
Hussain closed his keynote with three calls to action for solution providers:
Leverage the full portfolio AT&T offers.
Get on top of the trends that APS is identifying.
Invest in growth as APS invests in growth.
And the investment from APS will continue, according to Leonard. He told Channel Partners that the biggest question solution providers have for him is if the company will continue to pour in resources. Leonard said his organization must work continually to “earn their trust” and not take partners for granted. They have choices and will work with the vendor that best supports them.
“I think the growth potential is limitless here, and I believe the results of this year have proven that,” Leonard said. “And my only ask is that solution providers continue to invest as we invest.”
Read more about:Agents
Senior News Editor, Channel Futures
James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.
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