AT&T gets channel friendly

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Global telecommunications services vendor AT&T has signed distributor Enterprise Technology Solutions (ETS) as its sales agent under its plan to target the small and medium business market.

The appointment follows a move by AT&T in April to open a channel business in Australia, when it promised to move around 30 percent of local sales indirectly. In June, it also appointed Western Australia-based reseller Global Itelegence to target the $12 billion mining and resources industry in the state.

Under the new agreement, Sydney-based ETS will have access to AT&T's full product portfolio including internet and remote access services, global managed internet, security, hosting, network connectivity and complete network outsourcing services.

“There are certain markets like Australia comprised heavily of SMEs. We're leveraging our infrastructure and resources to targeting home grown business,” said Greg Brutus, a spokesperson for AT&T.

Speaking to CRN, Tony Parkin, director at ETS, said the distributor would promote AT&T services through its base of around 60 resellers. He said the distributor was pushing AT&T “remote access” services the hardest, adding that these types of services were the most attractive to SMEs.

“The SME space in Australia has [previously] had the opportunity to look at AT&T's services,” he said. The distributor would potentially target organisations that fall under the vendor's 21 signature enterprise accounts across the region.

He said that ETS found the AT&T product to be the “Rolls Royce” of the industry, claiming it has the largest global network in the world and no back to back arrangements with other telcos.

“We've changed our business around to purely focus on AT&T,” he said. “We're trying to mirror the AT&T model, so resellers can take advantage of it.”

He said ETS was previously distributing a range of HR and business processing software from US-based vendors, which he declined to name. 'We've been able to segment those off,' he said.

More than 50 percent of AT&T's business in the region was driven by enterprise-level sales, and the bulk of its business would continue to come from this market, Brutus said.

However, AT&T claimed it still needs to target the 10,000 SMEs that account for 60 percent of all businesses in Australia.

In April, AT&T unveiled a channel program with several elements. Under the referral program, it pays channel organisations a commission for presenting qualified sales leads to the vendor.

Its distribution referral program sees AT&T pay resellers a fee for finding a deal that would be signed through one of its own reseller channels. Under its sales agent program, AT&T delivers the services but the reseller receives a monthly fee for brokering a deal and managing the customer.

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