Adtran Sweetens Discounts, UC Incentives For VARs

Adtran on Tuesday made a number of additions to its Advantage Partner Program. First is an addition to Adtran's Custom Extended Services (ACES) offering, which now lets VARs sell Adtran's NetVanta unified communications and IP telephony products without having to invest up front in Adtran specialization to get access to those products.

The goal, said Mike Johnston, director of channel marketing, is to give partners that don't have much experience selling UC and IP telephony products essentially a "try out." Many traditional data VARs are expanding into telephony and UC, Johnston explained, but hesitate to invest too heavily into unfamiliar product lines before they've had sales experience.

What's required is that they package sales of those products with ACES installation and maintenance services.

"Before, the only way a partner could get access was to be specialized in the traditional way through us, which includes certification," Johnston explained. "Some of the feedback we got from partners was that they wanted a little bit more of an affordable way to enter this space. As long as they include the ACES offering, they can now do that."

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Another new offering, Absolutely Adtran, will offer partners additional discounts -- as much as 5 percent on top of what they're already getting, Johnston said -- if they sell more Adtran gear, ACES or professional services.

Johnston said Adtran is also introducing monthly payment options for customers that use Adtran's RealLeasing program to sell to SMBs.

Finally, there's IntelliQuote, a customizable tool that lets partners search and create quotes on products and services down to the SKU and configuration. Both IntelliQuote and the other new services are available immediately, and IntelliQuote has been in a pilot phase for partners for the past few weeks.

"We'd been asked for quite some time about creating an online quote tool, and we've got it. It's like having one of our applications engineers right next to you and it's available 24/7," Johnston said.

Adtran in December 2009 made its first formal entry into the UC space, launching four lines under the banner of NetVanta Unified Communications. This spring, Johnston said, Adtran completed road shows in 13 cities and partners had thus far seen "some good success stories" with Adtran's UC catalog.