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AT&T Realigns Alliance Channel, ACC Business

At the same time, the carrier outlined some clear-cut 5G opportunities for partners.

James Anderson

November 4, 2019

4 Min Read
Realign

AT&T Partner Solutions just made a 5G smartphone available for partners to sell and is realigning its sales teams to support diverse partner types.

AT&T Partner Exchange and AT&T Alliance Channel members can sell the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G smartphone on the AT&T mmWave network, which is available in 21 cities and expected to expand to 30 in early 2020.

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AT&T’s Stacey Marx

The organization also announced two specific changes it will make to the Alliance Channel and ACC Business programs. The sales and support teams from ACC Business will re-align with the Alliance Channel in order to reduce complexity. Stacey Marx, AT&T Partner Solutions’ senior vice president and channel chief, said many partners had been fielding calls from both ACC and Alliance channel managers. The process could become confusing, she said. Partners can still access both the ACC Business and Alliance Channel portfolios, but they will work with one AT&T channel manager instead of two.

“[Now] every partner has one person calling on them, which is great,” Marx told Channel Partners.

The Alliance Channel also placed traditional agents from master agents in separate groups so that the teams supporting them can better embrace their unique business models.

“We had in one channel manager’s module legacy partners/agents as well as masters who have subagents,” Marx said. “And fundamentally they just operate differently.”

AT&T Partner Solutions (APS) made the realignment after Marx concluded a multiple-month listening tour. She said partners are giving positive feedback for the changes.

“So far it’s going great, and the partners seem to really appreciate it,” she said.

AT&T will be talking about the program changes at its Fusion partner event this week, in addition to discussing its 5G pillars. The Samsung smartphone availability is part of an APS initiative to build on its three strategic 5G go-to-market pillars: mobile, fixed wireless and edge.

The organization is now in talks to run multi-access edge compute (MEC) deployment pilots with select solution providers. AT&T had already been running MEC deployment pilots with businesses, but partners are about to get in on the action. MEC lets customers designate specific cellular data on the AT&T software-defined network for on-premise edge processing.

Marx said the solution will help partners support customers in an increasingly multicloud world where data is increasingly decentralized.

“Edge compute is all about bringing the data safely and with a lot of speed to fuel things that, frankly, we don’t even know about yet,” Marx said.

Partners can also utilize the AT&T Wireless Broadband solution, which is now equipped with AT&T Business Fast Track to allow customers to …

… prioritize application data. The fixed wireless solution works over 4G LTE and 5G Evolution but will function as a “stepping stone” to 5G, according to Marx.

“The partners like it, and more importantly the end clients like it,” she said. “Of course it’s cost-effective, but it also can be deployed super quick for new and also remote locations.”

Lastly, the AT&T Partner Exchange reseller program has launched “ecosystem partner programs” to help partners provide IoT, cybersecurity and mobility solutions. The programs let Partner Exchange members collaborate to meet gaps in their respective technology portfolios.

“The ecosystem partnership has allowed us to expand into new product lines without having to use up a lot of resources. And we have been able to meet customer demand in ways we couldn’t before,” said John Agathon, senior partner for Atron Solutions. “It is a valuable addition to our business. The ability to offer a plan with no overages has been the closer for customers who wish to control costs and not have runaway usage charges.”

Partner Exchange has also automated its Fiber Fast tool, which helps partners inform their customers of how long it will take to make a building fiber-lit. Marx first told us about Fiber Fast in the spring when she joined APS.

Marx said AT&T Partner Solutions aims to build off momentum and attract new business.

“AT&T and [I] continue to be dedicated to the channel, and we’re putting the partner at the center of everything that we do to enhance their experience with us and enable both of us to then win in the marketplace.”

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

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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