The telecommunications industry's largest carriers will be leaning on the channel more than ever in 2018, and one man is making it his mission to take advantage of that opportunity.
Tom Gorey, World Telecom Group's new director of strategic alliances, said WTG is here to help partners take advantage of partner program updates and grow their businesses with the likes of AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier and Verizon. "I'd like to make WTG a go-to provider for these four large carriers, and I want to see substantial growth in these carriers from our partner base," Gorey told CRN.
Before his role with WTG, Gorey served as managing director for channel strategy management and consulting firm Channel2Go. Gorey has also worked for some of the largest carriers, including Qwest Communications (now CenturyLink), MCI (now Verizon), and XO Communications (now Verizon).
WTG created the director of strategic alliances role because the company wanted a high-level thinker that could help manage the change and new activity coming from the industry's largest carriers, according to Vince Bradley, CEO of Malibu, Calif.-based WTG.
"[Gorey] is one of the godfathers of the channel. He helped start the Qwest channel program and had worked for some of the largest distributors," Bradley said. "The carriers are coming to the channel now, and he knows those companies, so who better to come in and help us with that change and drive business?"
Gorey will apply more than two decades of telecom and indirect channel experience to help partners understand the partner program and contract changes coming in 2018 from four of WTG's largest supplier partners. These providers have publicly stated plans to become more partner-friendly and to roll out program changes early next year to strengthen their commitment to the channel and its growth.
At the same time, consolidation is impacting the telecom market, as evidenced by CenturyLink's massive $34 billion purchase of fellow telecom Level 3 Communications that closed in 2017. Staff reductions are hitting these providers, who will be relying more on channel partners for distribution in 2018, Gorey said.
Today, carriers are pursuing more master agent partners than any other partner type to help extend their reach to more solution providers and smaller telecom agent shops quickly, with companies who have already developed long-term relationships with VARs, MSPs, and telecom agents, Gorey said.
"It’s an efficiency game for carriers," he said. "We have over 20 years of quality relationships with many partners that [carriers] can leverage as opposed to hiring more people on their direct sales force."