Telco AAPT has opened up an indirect sales channel, signing Australian voice and data integrator Integ Communication Solutions as its first partner in a drive to recruit channel partners to attack the mid-market.
Ian Poole, MD at Integ said the integrator - which also has similar arrangements with the likes of Telstra and Optus - believes it's important to have relationships with carriers because "we are not a carrier."
Both companies had begun work on new sales leads in the mid-market. "We've started to get some meat on the bones in the past few months. We're working on quite a few opportunities together. We're in the process of engaging [with AAPT] in the channel and pre-sales area," Poole said.
Hany Hanna, head of channels strategy and management at AAPT, said Integ was an obvious choice as a partner given its relationship with Alcatel, AAPT's network partner.
He said both companies - and Alcatel - would begin to collaborate on the development of products that meet the needs of the mid-market.
"AAPT's got a robust data network and a range of solutions targeted at the middle market that complement Integ's offerings in this area," he said.
Integ's appointment was part of an overall strategy to grow the telco's business channels. "There's a lot of consolidation happening in the industry and when you're making a conscious effort to play in certain segments, you can't be all things to all people," Hanna said.
Integ had a good presence in the hospitality and contact centre space and there was a good cultural fit between both organisations. AAPT had progressed in its discussions with other potential channel partners that complement its business.
Hanna added that the telco would minimise channel conflict in selecting new channel partners.
"We have identified a number of resellers and integrators at different levels of certification."
There would be Trans Tasman opportunities as well for channel partners via AAPT's parent company Telecom New Zealand, the company said.
Poole said Integ would not favour any particular carrier in future, but if required, would draw on the resources of telco consultancies Gibson Quai AAS and
Telsyte that would recommend a carrier for its customers.
Integ, Gibson Quai and Telsyte are business units of listed outfit UXC Limited.
Integ's appointment follows AAPT's launch of a range of SMB-focused VoIP products in July.
AAPT - which is owned by Telecom New Zealand - reported revenue of $1.3 billion for the year ending 30 June 2004.