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November 27, 2023
Matt Hickey has stepped into a newly created vice president role for AT&T partner marketing.
Hickey, a long-time AT&T vet who most recently led public sector marketing, now serves as head of partner marketing for the provider. That's a new role for AT&T, and channel leaders say it represents an emphasis on "partner-first."
AT&T's Matt Hickey
“This is really a continued evolution of how we are engaging with partners and enabling their business success," said Sarita Rao, president of integrated and partner solutions at AT&T. "Partners are a key part of our distribution strategy, and we’re investing significant ways to create better value, an easier experience and profitable growth. Because marketing is such a critical function, we’ve elevated the leadership to a VP level and structured the team to provide both dedicated and cross-functional support for partners."
Hickey since 2017 led marketing for AT&T's public sector and its much-touted FirstNet first responder program. He has worked at AT&T for 31 years.
Hickey said he'll engage with sales-focused vice presidents in AT&T's channel, including Randall Porter, who oversees the Alliance Channel, ACC Business and Partner Exchange, and Margaret Rooney-McMillen, who leads AT&T's hyperscaler business and go-to-market partnerships.
"Channel partner" can mean many things for AT&T and ranges from sales-focused partners to OEMs. For example, the company has expanded its presence in the technology services distributor (TSD) channel in recent years as well as brought new initiatives to market with Cisco.
"Because of the scale and reach of AT&T’s fiber and 5G connectivity, we have an extremely diverse partner base — from traditional channel resellers, to emerging wholesale partners who want to co-create products to bring to market, to partners who specialize in areas such as IoT and mobility. From a marketing perspective, that means we are here to support all the unique needs of our partners as they bring the value of AT&T’s network to business customers of all sizes," Rao said.
AT&T's Sarita Rao
Hickey said he seeks to makes AT&T's fiber and mobility leadership "undisputed" among channel partners. He pointed to AT&T partner marketing programs that include marketing as a service.
"Partners can expect a listen, launch, measure approach to strategy and execution," Hickey said. "They will see increased visibility and prevalence of partner messaging in the market and focused efforts on ease of doing business with AT&T. We are investing in these marketing relationships and want our partners to view AT&T as an extension of their marketing team."
Moreover, Hickey teased changes to the way AT&T conducts market development funds, better known as MDF.
"We will be refreshing our MDF program in 2024 — aligning MDF programs with the best of each. This includes the creation of consistent program requirements, T&Cs, and timelines," he said. "We want to be easier to do business with, overcommunicate and move faster. Our go-forward strategy will be an industry best practice."
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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