ChannelVision Playbook Volume 8

We sat down with Michael Gough, vice president of indirect sales at leading multinational cloud networking provider GTT Communications, who shed some light on what makes GTT’s indirect channel program different. How does GTT approach the indirect channel? Is it a key vehicle for generating sales growth? The indirect channel is an important growth enabler for GTT. Some of our most strategic clients are supported through our agent partners. Our approach is to partner with key master agents and focus on those sub agents with a track record of delivering results. This ap- proach enables us to provide effective agent support and yields the best results for the business and our clients. To what extent has GTT invested in the indirect channel during the last year? We are investing substantial resources in GTT’s channel program to realize the full potential of partner relationships in local markets. This includes a comprehen- sive partner support structure. Additionally, we have expanded our portfolio of cloud networking services. Most notably, we offer our agent partners an industry leading SD-WAN service. According to industry analyst estimates, the SD-WAN market is growing by more than 75 percent annually. We believe there is a substantial opportunity in this burgeoning market for our partners. GTT has acquired several service providers. How have these acquisitions impacted your presence in the indirect channel? GTT has completed more than 30 ac- quisitions since 2008. Some of the service providers we’ve acquired had established channel partner programs, allowing GTT to broaden its channel partner relationships. In fact, our most recent acquisition of Access Point, announced October 1, is an example of an acquisition that will directly contribute new partner relationships in the indirect channel. We are excited to offer Access Point clients and partners the full scope of GTT’s network and product capabilities. GTT has a tried and proven approach to integration at a network, systems and or- ganizational level. Unlike many of the other carriers pursuing M&A that are encumbered with disparate legacy systems, GTT operates with a single client management database platform, offering a more efficient and trans- parent system that guides quoting, ordering, installation, inventory management and ongoing client support. What are the key elements of your channel partner program?Tell us about the services and support that you offer for partners. During the last year, we have assigned dedicated back-office resources as well as other sales support resources includ- ing sales engineering, quoting, project management and client account manage- ment. Additionally, we have expanded the marketing communications and product training support for partners. We have also instituted upgraded client support based on our Premier and Gold client program. What are the advantages of partnering with GTT? GTT is unique among the network service providers in the market today. The IndirectApproach M any communications providers today are leveraging the indirect channel to reach new customers and boost profits. Not all indirect channel programs offer the same level of quality and support, though, and so it’s important to be discerning when forming partnerships. We operate one of the industry’s largest Tier 1, global IP networks and offer a comprehensive portfolio of cloud net- working services with a market presence across the globe, yet we are smaller than the incum- bent carriers which enables us to be nimble and responsive. The recent acquisition of Interoute contributed a large pan-European fiber optic network and strengthened our market leadership in SD-WAN. GTT offers a differentiated SD-WAN service based on our expansive network reach, broad array of access options and ex- tensive experience providing managed services. GTT is also easy to do business with. We operate with streamlined back-office systems, simplified pricing, and a finely tuned client support model. How do you expect your channel program will evolve over the next 12 months? We expect to expand and deepen our presence in the agent channel over the next 12 months. We will continue to augment the support capabilities and enhance the tools we offer our agent partners including training and online resources. We will also expand our marketing programs and offer more incentives to reward our most productive agent partners. Do you have any other messages for the channel partner community? GTT has arrived as a disruptive force in the market and is a very competitive service provider partner for those agents seeking to expand in the cloud networking space as well as into new international markets. We have the network scale, broad product capabilities, and responsive support model to help our agent partners be successful. o Michael Gough VP Channel Sales 22 THE CHANNEL MANAGER’S PLAYBOOK