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18 Service Providers That Want To Work With The Channel

CRN's 2018 Network Connectivity Partner Program Guide spotlights the channel programs of companies across the telecom, networking and communications services market. Here's a closer look at the service providers featured in this year's report.

As solution providers look for new ways to work recurring revenue-based services into their portfolios, service providers have a unique opportunity to bring their portfolios of telecom, connectivity and communications offerings to market through the IT channel. Through the 2018 Network Connectivity Services Partner Program Guide, CRN spotlights some of those companies and the channel programs they offer. Below is a closer look at program details submitted by the 18 service providers featured in this year's report.

1. Airespring

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Channel Chief: Ron McNabb, senior vice president, channel sales

What's New:

Cloud communications and managed connectivity service provider Airespring says it has invested heavily to completely revamp its network, adding state-of-the-art security and enhanced performance. The company is also focusing on expansion of its SD-WAN product

Partner Impact:

"Unlike many one-size-fits-all solutions, users never have to pay for more than they need. We ensure that custom policies are accommodated to reduce potential gaps in security. We also offer free READ WRITE access to the SD-WAN Orchestrator. This unique offering, unlike any other in the market, enables AireSpring Channel Partners to offer a comprehensive solution to their customers at an extremely competitive price point." -- Airespring

Services:

Internet Connectivity

Wireless/Mobility Services

Ethernet Services (dedicated and private line)

Business Communications (voice plans, SIP trunking services)

Unified Communications-as-a-Service/hosted VoIP

Networking Services (SDN, secure cloud connection services, managed WAN services)

Managed Services Software: RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management)

Enterprise Networking Infrastructure

Network Management

Unified Communications

WAN Services (WAN Optimization, managed WAN, SD-WAN)

2. AT&T

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Channel Chief: Zee Hussain, channel chief, AT&T Partner Solutions

What's New:

Global communications service provider AT&T last fall added deal registration and a number of new go-to-market and compensation options to its AT&T Alliance Channel program, including the rollout of compensation for eligible mobile device upgrades for the first time. The company also increased its focus on Internet of Things and mobility over the last year, rolling out a number of new tools and resources to members of the AT&T Partner Exchange Program. It also added its Flexware software-defined networking and network functions virtualization service and its Collaborate cloud-hosted unified communications service to the program.

Partner Impact:

AT&T Alliance Channel – "In the summer of 2017, we launched pilots of enhancements to our program with several of our solution providers. The goal was to test out different ways of going to market and doing business. Thanks to their input, we announced in November we were making the best parts of the trials available to everyone in the AT&T Alliance Channel." -- AT&T

AT&T Partner Exchange Program – "Two years after announcing our Internet of Things (IoT) platform for AT&T Partner Exchange, IoT momentum continues to accelerate. At the end of 2017, we'd seen more than a 250% increase in IoT connections from our solution providers, year over year." -- AT&T

Services:

Cloud Hosting [AT&T Alliance Channel]

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) [AT&T Alliance Channel]

Internet Connectivity

Wireless/Mobility Services

Ethernet Services (dedicated and private line)

Business Communications (voice plans, SIP trunking services)

Unified Communications-as-a-Service/hosted VoIP [AT&T Partner Exchange Program]

Networking Services (SDN, secure cloud connection services, managed WAN services)

Colocation

Enterprise Networking Infrastructure [AT&T Alliance Channel]

Unified Communications

Video Conferencing

WAN Services (WAN Optimization, managed WAN, SD-WAN)

3. CenturyLink

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Channel Chiefs: John DeLozier, vice president, strategic partnerships and alliances; Garrett Gee, vice president, indirect channel sales

What's New:

As part of the Level 3 Communications acquisition CenturyLink completed late last year, both companies' legacy channel partner programs were combined to create the new CenturyLink Channel Partner Program. The new program provides access to training, tools and programs – including sales, marketing, development, operational and maintenance support – to deliver the network connectivity services and solutions that simplify the customer's IT strategy and enable their digital transformation.

Partner Impact:

"The new CenturyLink's expanded global network allows its channel partners to bring substantial operational and service benefits to customers, as well as an enhanced customer experience." -- CenturyLink

Services:

Cloud Hosting

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

Internet Connectivity

Ethernet Services (dedicated and private line)

Business Communications (voice plans, SIP trunking services)

Unified Communications-as-a-Service/hosted VoIP

Networking Services (SDN, secure cloud connection services, managed WAN services)

Colocation

Managed Services (PSA/IT Automation)

Managed Services Software: RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management)

Enterprise Networking Infrastructure

Network Management

Unified Communications

Video Conferencing

WAN Services (WAN Optimization, managed WAN, SD-WAN)

4. Comcast

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Channel Chief: Craig Schlagbaum, vice president, indirect channels

What's New:

Comcast Business is rewarding top-level "medallion" members of its Comcast Business Solutions Provider Program with new support for building and executing a marketing plan, including support for professional marketing services, increased MDF and endorsement videos. Comcast also has expanded its partner feedback tools and is piloting specialized technology partner programs with a focus on SDN cloud services. The company also launched new partner tiers for master agents.

Partner impact:

"This change [to the master agent partner tiers] is a major overhaul in how we prioritize resources and support our master agents. The benefit to our selling partners is deeper back office resources with dedicated National Partner Account Manager resources to ensure smooth order processing and service installation." -- Comcast

Services:

Internet Connectivity

Wireless/Mobility Services

Ethernet Services (dedicated and private line)

Business Communications (voice plans, SIP trunking services)

Unified Communications-as-a-Service/hosted VoIP

Networking Services (SDN, secure cloud connection services, managed WAN services)

Enterprise Networking Infrastructure

Network Management

WAN Services (WAN Optimization, managed WAN, SD-WAN)

5. Cox Business

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Channel Chief: John Muscarella, senior director, sales programs & solutions

What's New:

The Cox Business Agent Program portal provides a means for agents to submit leads online, track progress, and allow for reporting to ensure commissions were handled effectively. The portal was recently updated to allow online product training for agents and to provide marketing collateral as well as other enhancements.

Partner Impact:

"Cox Business Authorized Agents have access to tools and resources that make their job easier, local channel management support, and industry leading solutions. Our program is unique in that it centers around a holistic, collaborative team approach; an approach to continuously evolve and build to ensure success." -- Cox Business

Services:

Cloud Hosting

Internet Connectivity

Ethernet Services (dedicated and private line)

Business Communications (voice plans, SIP trunking services)

Unified Communications-as-a-Service/hosted VoIP

Networking Services (SDN, secure cloud connection services, managed WAN services)

Colocation

Managed Services (PSA/IT Automation)

Managed Services Software: RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management)

Enterprise Networking Infrastructure

Unified Communications

WAN Services (WAN Optimization, managed WAN, SD-WAN)

6. Enzu

Program manager: Tom Prichard, channel manager

What's New:

Since launching the Enzu Partner Program in 2017, the company says it has built a partner-friendly channel program with a well-rounded IT infrastructure solutions portfolio, evergreen monthly recurring commissions, deal registration, commissions tracking, solutions engineering and 24/7/365 customer support. New this year are sales training; sales enablement and marketing tools; and channel managers offering dedicated pre- and post-sale support and service escalations.

Partner Impact:

"We not only supply innovative, high-margin solutions, we work with our partners to ensure they have the resources and expertise they need to succeed. Our program enables partners to create recurring services revenue without incurring startup costs; expand their solutions portfolio by adding a services practice with little or no capital investment; enhance their client relationships by serving as a trusted adviser in outsourced IT infrastructure; take advantage of Enzu's industry experts for business advice, growth plans and hands-on support." -- Enzu

Services:

Cloud Hosting

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

Internet Connectivity

Networking Services (SDN, secure cloud connection services, managed WAN services)

Colocation

Managed Services (PSA/IT Automation)

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), Bare Metal Servers


7. Flexential

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Channel Chief: Melissa McCoy, vice president of channel sales

What's New:

Peak 10 and ViaWest merged in August and spent the second half of 2017 combining the two companies' partner programs, consolidating teams and keeping the channel business running smoothly throughout, all before rebranding as Flexential in January.

Partner Impact:

"The most significant impact for the network connectivity space was our focus on interconnectivity in 2017. The results are that our partners can offer the following: Interconnectivity -- Partners now have access to a broader range of voice, data, cloud and internet services from leading carriers and Flexential hybrid IT services since merging Peak 10 + ViaWest. Data center interconnection -- Flexential offers fully redundant data center connections built on our protected 100 Gbps network backbone which provides clients with fast recovery and low latency. Cloud connect-- Flexential's high-capacity interconnections extend to cloud services including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud in multiple regions across the U.S. Metro connectivity -- We provide metro cross connects between metro facilities and carrier hotels in select markets." -- Flexential

Services:

Cloud Hosting

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

Networking Services (SDN, secure cloud connection services, managed WAN services)

Colocation

Enterprise Networking Infrastructure

8. FreedomVoice, a GoDaddy Company

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Channel Chief: Eric Thomas, vice president of reseller channel

What's New:

Business telecommunications provider FreedomVoice now includes phones with its service, which the company says helps make sales easier for partners, particularly to small business customers. The 100 percent channel-focused company also rolled out a new incentive that offers six months of free service for the first customer of a channel partner.

Partner Impact:

"We have found that closure rates [with the Included Phone Program are] roughly double to previous option where customers had upfront cost of purchasing phones." -- FreedomVoice

Services:

Business Communications (voice plans, SIP trunking services)

Unified Communications-as-a-Service/hosted VoIP

Unified Communications

9. GreenLink Networks

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Channel Chief: Jhovanny Rodriguez, vice president/co-founder

What's New:

Business VoIP provider GreenLink has incorporated strong incentives for partners, from free services for their entire organization to compensation of up to 25 percent evergreen commission and up to $1,000 for every 25 extensions sold. The program also includes a partner portal with a quoting tool, training, marketing funds and sales leads.

Partner Impact:

"GreenLink was started by an MSP with an ambition to achieve the right balance between flexibility in how the services are offered to customers, the reliability expected in up-time and quality, and the commitment to its customers and partners." -- GreenLink

Services:

Business Communications (voice plans, SIP trunking services)

Unified Communications-as-a-Service/hosted VoIP

10. IntelePeer

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Channel Chief: Jeremy Jones, Senior Vice President, Channel Sales

What's New:

Cloud-based communications provider IntelePeer adopted a 100 percent indirect channel go-to-market strategy in 2017 and expanded its channel team with channel managers that support partners through onboarding and training activities, pricing and quoting assistance and proposal generation. IntelePeer has also moved beyond traditional voice communications with communications orchestration, enabling clients to interact with users via the user's preferred method of communications. With new Atmosphere Messaging, businesses can enable their DID (Direct Inward Dialing) and toll-free numbers into an engagement platform that can be configured to send and receive text-based SMS messages. In addition to SMS, IntelePeer is helping clients streamline and automate business process and customer engagements with Multichannel IVR (Interactive Voice Response) as a production or disaster avoidance solution. These services can be added individually or together to improve customer experience.

Partner Impact:

"By moving to channel only model, IntelePeer is able to minimize channel conflict, connect customers with trusted advisors who can manage end-to-end implementation, and focus on partner enablement and profitability." --IntelePeer

Services:

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

Business Communications (voice plans, SIP trunking services)

Unified Communications

11. Masergy Communications

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Channel Chief: William Madison - Vice President, Global Channel Development

What's New:

Masergy last year launched a strategic initiative to focus on deepening partner engagement and business alignment by putting together partner business development plans tailored to their lifecycle stage and how active they are with the software-defined network services company. The company also added a 10-person partner support and sales group that assists mid-market partner sales as well as hiring additional channel development managers. Launched new targeted channel sales incentives, created new training and rolled out new competitive pricing.

Partner Impact:

"Masergy was able to increase joint enterprise wins in its target sweet spot in key solution areas of SD-WAN, UCaaS, Cloud Contact Center and Managed Security. This has not only allowed Masergy to accelerate the relationship with its selling partners, but also to gain introductions to those partners that are a good fit for its portfolio, ultimately strengthening its global partner program." -- Massergy

Services:

Business Communications (voice plans, SIP trunking services)

Unified Communications-as-a-Service/hosted VoIP

Networking Services (SDN, secure cloud connection services, managed WAN services)

Unified Communications

WAN Services (WAN Optimization, managed WAN, SD-WAN)

Managed Services

12. MegaPath

Channel Chief: Travis Nicolaides, Vice President of Channel and Enterprise Sales

What's New:

Business communications and network provider MegaPath has enhanced its partner program in a number of ways, including an increase in partner outreach, the doubling of its channel marketing and training budget and an increase of its dedicated channel sales support resources by over 20 percent. It also expanded its lineup of SD-WAN and security service offerings.

Partner impact:

"As a result of these updates, MegaPath has seen the number of partners quoting MegaPath services, as well as its pipeline, average deal size and channel revenue, grow considerably." -- MegaPath

Services:

Internet Connectivity

Wireless/Mobility Services

Ethernet Services (dedicated and private line)

Business Communications (voice plans, SIP trunking services)

Unified Communications-as-a-Service/hosted VoIP

Networking Services (SDN, secure cloud connection services, managed WAN services)

Enterprise Networking Infrastructure

Network Management

Unified Communications

Video Conferencing

WAN Services (WAN Optimization, managed WAN, SD-WAN)

Managed WiFi, Managed Security


13. OPAQ

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Channel Chief: Derek Gabbard, Senior Vice President, Channel and Alliances

What's New:

Platform-as-a-Service provider OPAQ increased network peering capacity by more than 100 percent in the past year to dramatically improve its network's flexibility and scalability. It also increased transit and peering capacity to more than 130 Gbps to improve performance and reduced latency, eliminating the traditional trade-off between security and performance.

Partner Impact:

"Partners can centrally monitor networks, generate reports, manage security infrastructure, and enforce policies - all through a single interface. This empowers OPAQ partners to grow revenue and margins to over 40 percent, eliminate complexity and costs, and establish a competitive advantage that helps attract and retain customers." -- OPAQ

Services:

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

Internet Connectivity

Networking Services (SDN, secure cloud connection services, managed WAN services)

Network Management

Unified Communications

WAN Services (WAN Optimization, managed WAN, SD-WAN)

14. Reinvent Telecom

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Channel Chief: Ray Napoletano, Vice President of Sales

What's New:

White-label communications service provider Reinvent Telecom has enhanced its partner portal to enable solution providers to consolidate, manage and view customer data. It also added a number of new tools for quotes, commissions and dealer management. It has also invested in marketing support with a rebrand, new website and customizable marketing materials. The company's service portfolio has also expanded to include Cloud Contact Center, Web Meetings, CRM Integration, Business SMS, Call Recording, RoboCall Blocking, HIPAA Compliance and Edge-to-Core Network Management.

Partner Impact:

"These capabilities enable our reseller partners to deliver a more well-rounded business communications solution and enhance their bottom lines. In addition, many of these services are standalone and can be door-openers for future sales of the integrated platform." -- Reinvent Telecom

Services:

Business Communications (voice plans, SIP trunking services)

Unified Communications-as-a-Service/hosted VoIP

Video Conferencing

Contact Center as a Service, Web Collaboration, Business SMS, Hosted Fax, Call Recording

15. Spectrum

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Channel Chiefs: Michelle Kadlacek, Vice President, Enterprise Channel Partner Sales and Chris Czekaj, Vice President, SMB Channel Partner Sales

What's New:

Spectrum, a part of Charter Communications, has consolidated its legacy ordering portals and added an account management team to help smooth the way for partners to place new orders quickly.

Partner Impact:

"Consolidating the sales ordering portal makes it easier than ever to place an order. Spectrum's new Account Management team is on hand to assist with moves, adds, changes, and disconnects." -- Spectrum

Services:

Cloud Hosting

Internet Connectivity

Ethernet Services (dedicated and private line)

Business Communications (voice plans, SIP trunking services)

Networking Services (SDN, secure cloud connection services, managed WAN services)

Managed Services (PSA/IT Automation)

Enterprise Networking Infrastructure

WAN Services (WAN Optimization, managed WAN, SD-WAN)

Internet, Voice, TV & Networking

16. Star2Star Communications

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Channel Chief: Michelle Accardi, President and Chief Revenue Officer

What's New:

Communications service provider Star2Star has bulked up with more regional/inside sales and sales engineering staff across the country, simplified its back-end processes including ordering, shipping, and distribution and made more marketing materials and custom support available to partners through its Star2Star Partner Marketing Hub, as well as increased tech support visibility for partners and their customers.

Partner impact:

"These [changes] help improve both partners' experiences with Star2Star and enable them to improve the experiences of their customers." -- Star2Star

Services:

Cloud Hosting

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

Internet Connectivity

Business Communications (voice plans, SIP trunking services)

Unified Communications-as-a-Service/hosted VoIP

Networking Services (SDN, secure cloud connection services, managed WAN services)

Unified Communications

Video Conferencing

WAN Services (WAN Optimization, managed WAN, SD-WAN)

17. TELoiP

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Channel Chief: Michael Gagnon, Vice President of Sales and Marketing

What's New:

SD-WAN-as-a-Service provider TELoiP has enhanced its VINO Portal cloud orchestration to empower partners with more capability to provision, monitor and manage SD-WAN services, while its Channel Partner Portal accelerates onboarding for partner sales and marketing. In addition, Quick Start marketing programs aim to help partners generate sales leads.

Partner Impact:

"We build unbreakable cloud tethers backed with impeccable network engineering and support services. VINO SD-WAN-as-a-Service ensures customer success by combining all the SDN components and functionality into a single, predictable license fee that includes professional design, installation and ongoing 24/7/365 support. Working with our partners, we deliver a risk-free SD-WAN experience." -- TELoiP

Services:

Networking Services (SDN, secure cloud connection services, managed WAN services)

Managed Services (PSA/IT Automation)

Managed Services Software: RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management)

Network Management

WAN Services (WAN Optimization, managed WAN, SD-WAN)

18. Verizon

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Channel Chief: William Hooper, Director, North America Channel, SMB

What's New:

Verizon's Partner Program (VPP) has been updated with a new master agent model deployed in the U.S., which provides extended support to a large number of sub-agents representing Verizon. The company has also added flexible channel engagement models as well as simplified and competitive fees for U.S. Agents based on total billed revenue.

Partner Impact:

"A new and improved master agent model has been deployed in the US to enhance the program's agility and responsiveness." -- Verizon

Services:

Cloud Hosting

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

Internet Connectivity

Wireless/Mobility Services

Ethernet Services (dedicated and private line)

Business Communications (voice plans, SIP trunking services)

Unified Communications-as-a-Service/hosted VoIP

Networking Services (SDN, secure cloud connection services, managed WAN services)

Colocation

Managed Services (PSA/IT Automation)

Managed Services Software: RMM (Remote Monitoring and Management)

Enterprise Networking Infrastructure

Network Management

Unified Communications

Video Conferencing

WAN Services (WAN Optimization, managed WAN, SD-WAN)

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