Alteva Offers Partners UC Training, Targets Channel Growth

Since its recent acquisition by Warwick Valley Telephone Company (WVT),

“When we re-launched our program we wanted to address the biggest problem,” said Alteva’s chief sales officer Louis Hayner. “It’s not whether the cloud is here. The challenge is how do I start positioning applications and solutions? How do I start rebranding myself as not only a cost savings broker but a solutions salesman?”

Alteva’s product set -- which includes hosted VoIP integrated with Microsoft Communication Services, Exchange, Office Communications Server and Sharepoint -- didn’t change with the channel program re-launch, said Hayner. Instead, the company wanted to focus its efforts on helping telecom agents and data VARs alike understand and sell its UC solutions.

The UC certification program has three phases. Each phase is a two-day course, with a certificate issued at the completion of each phase. Partners who complete all three phases, which is optional, are eligible for the highest levels of compensation. Each training session costs $350 per person. The training is being offered through the Sandler Institute, a sales and sales management training organization.

Don Hollingsworth, co-founder of New Jersey-based GO Network Solutions, has been partnering with Alteva for over two years, and has to-date participated in the first phase of Alteva’s UC training program.

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“There is so much confusion out there in the whole cloud computing-slash-unified communications marketplace right now. Alteva felt that it was a good idea to train their partners in how to sell it, as well as what it really is, and the benefits that it brings to customers,” Hollingsworth said. “The background that it gives us allows us to go out and differentiate ourselves from other guys in the business.”

Sales through the channel are increasingly part of Alteva’s strategy. According to Hayner, channel sales grew to 67 percent this year, up from 50 percent last year. Hayner said he expects by 2014, Alteva’s sales will come exclusively through the channel.

“It’s less costly from a company perspective. They control the midmarket and enterprise market, which is really our sweet spot from the Alteva perspective. It’s just the most logical way to go,” said Hayner.

The recent acquisition by WVT has brought an infusion of capital as well as the additional product offerings of USA Datanet -- acquired by the New York-based CLEC in 2009 -- to Alteva, and Hayner is confident that growth will continue under the mantle of WVT.

“There are a lot of acquisitions that are taking place. One of the real benefits for Alteva was the deep pockets, the ability to go market, to go to the street and raise capital, he said. “One of our plans is absolutely to continue the explosive organic growth, but also to look at other organizations to fold underneath the holding company.”