AT&T added a full line of mobility solutions to its AT&T Partner Exchange Program, enabling IT solution providers to go to market with data plans, voice plans and a range of mobile devices that can run on AT&T's 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi networks.
These mobility solutions represent the third AT&T product portfolio to be sold through AT&T Partner Exchange, in addition to the carrier giant's networking and cloud services.
Launched in 2013, AT&T Partner Exchange is AT&T's first partner program to be exclusively focused on IT VARs and solution providers. The Dallas-based company also has an Alliance partner program for telecom and master agents.
AT&T since last February has added about 150 solution providers to Partner Exchange, a feat that underscores the continued convergence between the traditional IT and telecom channels.
"We want to really build our program around solution providers," said Jack Laskowitz, director of product development for AT&T Emerging Business Markets, which is the AT&T business unit that houses Partner Exchange. "We know that if they are not successful selling our solutions in the market, we are not successful."
Adding AT&T's mobility solutions to the Partner Exchange program, which AT&T started to do late last year, will give solution providers the green light to sell AT&T's international, shared and pooled voice and data plans.
Laskowitz said this range of data plans lets solution providers target businesses of all sizes, with the shared plans, for example, being ideal for businesses needing to share data between 25 or fewer devices. The pooled plans, targeted at larger organizations, can scale to support groups of 25 users or more.
Solution providers in the Partner Exchange program also can now resell any feature phone, smartphone or tablet that is compatible with the AT&T network, along with AT&T's mobile hotspots, laptop connect cards and enhanced push-to-talk service.
Partners selling the AT&T data and voice plans will really be "owning" the customer relationship, Laskowitz said, handling all tier-one support and billing. For partners new to selling mobile data plans, AT&T offers training webinars and other resources.
Laskowitz declined to give a specific number, but said there is a "solid subset" of partners in the AT&T Partner Exchange program that already have started to sell these AT&T mobility solutions.
Mike Champion, executive director at ADCom Solutions, a Norcross, Ga.-based solution provider and AT&T partner, said selling AT&T mobility solutions will help ADCom round out its broader networking and application performance portfolio.
"We manage networks for people and we help them with application performance as well, and we see a strong trend toward applications going to more and more mobile devices, be it a tablet or a smartphone," Champion said. "So for us to be able to offer world-class mobility solutions at competitive prices in the marketplace gives us a very holistic way of helping clients and prospects."
Champion said ADCom, which is described as one of the "founding partners" of the AT&T Partner Exchange program, expects its AT&T business overall to see "triple-digit growth" in three to five years.
Max Silber, executive director of mobility at MetTel, a New York-based AT&T partner, said one the main reasons MetTel joined the AT&T Partner Exchange program was to start reselling AT&T's mobility solutions.
"Mobility is becoming a vital part of the enterprise ecosystem," Silber said. "Our focus and our purpose for entering into agreement with Partner Exchange is really to be able to take advantage of the best-of-breed products, features and service offerings."
Silber said MetTel has seen "tremendous" growth with AT&T mobility over the past few months.
"It is slowly becoming probably the largest of the three wholesale mobility relationships we have in place today, and we actually expect it to be in the No. 1 spot by the end of this year," he said.
AT&T has been continually updating and investing in Partner Exchange since the program's launch last year. In February, Brooks McCorcle, president of AT&T's Emerging Business Markets and head of Partner Exchange, said AT&T is investing $300 million into new partnering training resources and financing options.
PUBLISHED JUNE 10, 2014