Adtran Opens VoIP Line To More Partners


Through its new Value-Added Distribution (VAD) program, the vendor is working to team highly skilled distributors with partners that might not have the wherewithal to sell its NetVanta line of VoIP products on their own. Partners must earn Adtran's IP Telephony Specialization in order to sell NetVanta VoIP offerings.

"Through our VAD program, [distributors] are making the investment to become certified. They have the resources to serve as a source of certification for smaller partners that can't otherwise make the investment," said Ted Cole, vice president of channel sales at Adtran.

Adtran said it costs VARs between $4,000 and $6,000 for VoIP training and specialization.

Through the program, authorized distributors will provide pre- and post-sales support for the VoIP products, work with non-specialized solution providers to plan product deployment and/or sell installation services from Adtran to ensure that the products are implemented properly, Cole said.

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Prior to launching the program, Adtran found that it was losing out on SMB VoIP opportunities uncovered by non-specialized Adtran partners.

"We have partners calling our distributors with VoIP opportunities, but they can't address them because you have to be specialized to sell those products. In those cases, the partners say, 'OK, then what else do you have?' So now we're trying to expand our reach," Cole said.

The first company to join the program is Interlink Communication Systems, a distributor that specializes in VoIP and networking. Adtran expects to add a second distribution partner to the program within the next two months, Cole said.

Cole said he doesn't expect the new strategy to create channel conflict for partners that have already invested in the VoIP specialization.

"We have discussed this with our top-level partners and they did not see it as something that would enable channel conflict or create problems for them," Cole said. Approximately 250 of the 2,200 solution providers in the vendor's partner program are currently VoIP-specialized.

For one thing, solution providers that have achieved VoIP specialization on their own will get better pricing than partners that rely on a distributor's specialization to access the NetVanta VoIP products, Cole said. "They'd be paying somewhat of a premium to the VAD for the services they're providing," he added.