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AT&T Preps Partners for Future of Mobility, IoT

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Lynn HaberCHANNEL PARTNERS EVOLUTION — AT&T has a channel partner program for you; pick one because your customers are asking for –  or are already – implementing digital-transformation strategies and they need partners to help them on their journey. The opportunity for partners is big.

That was the message at Monday’s Channel Partners Evolution keynote session, “AT&T: Power of Mobility in the Channel,” where attendees got to hear AT&T senior executives – Meredith Caram, executive director, strategic research with AT&T Partner Solutions; Christopher R. Jones, executive director, Alliance East; and Robert Boyanovsky, executive director, mobility product management – lay out a road map for partner success.

Why is partner success so important to AT&T? Because the indirect channel is important to the communication vendor’s strategic future.

“We believe that the relationship that you have with your customers creates opportunities to for us to bring our networks into the mix to create mutual opportunities for both of us,” said Jones.{ad}

With mobility at the heart of digital transformation and the Internet of Things (IoT) the impending next wave of vendor and partner opportunity, solution providers have to be able to talk about how to bring together wired and wireless solutions. The vendor has built a number of partner programs that enable channel firms to work with AT&T in a way that fits best for their organization and the support structure, i.e. training, certification, solutions, marketing funds, etc., to go along with it.

What does the financial opportunity look like for the channel? According to Boyanovsky, partners offering wired/wireless solutions boast four times revenue growth compared to those who don’t. Partners who aren’t thinking about delivering integrated wired/wireless solutions to their customers may want to rethink their strategy.

Eighty-five percent of IoT devices will be sold by the indirect channel and industry researchers expect to see 35 billion connected things by 2020 resulting in an $11 trillion industry — that’s according to Gartner.

“Devices are smart, sensors are everywhere, and they’re delivering the insights that business need,” said Boyanovsky. And more than 29 million of these devices are connected on AT&T’s network today.

Within its own organization, AT&T is taking the lead and is integrating the two sides of the house, wired and wireless, in sales, products and marketing.

“Customers are telling us they …

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… don’t want to deal with two very different organizations,” said Boyanovsky.

AT&T executives also shared with the audience advances it’s making in security and 5G, which will offer massive connectivity, latency, and throughput and capacity. Lab tests are currently underway with field tests rolling out later this year.

So, what should be top of mind when choosing a partner program? According to Caram, partnership and synergies.

“We’re focused on building new relationships for growth and we’re focusing on making sure we have right solutions for partners,” she said. “When it comes to mobility, the vendor’s objective is to keep it simple for partners, especially those who are new to telecom services, and is focusing every conversation on automation and speed to market.

“We’re going shoulder to shoulder with our partners,” she noted.


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