X2nSat Comes to Vegas to Launch First-Ever Channel Program
Copyright 2014 by Virgo Publishing.
By: Kelly Teal, Senior Editor
Posted on: 02/26/2013



 

CHANNEL PARTNERSX2NSat (Booth 8017), a 15-year-old satellite provider, is debuting its new, multimillion-dollar network, and its first-ever channel program and channel chief, at the Spring 2013 Channel Partners Conference & Expo.

“We are not only unveiling a state-of-the-art network at the conference, we are welcoming channel agents and organizations to join X2nSat for the first time in our ... 15-year history," said X2nSat CEO Garrett Hill, in a press release.

Introducing ST4G

X2nSat spent 18 months and millions of dollars developing its new network, ST4G, which stands for "Fourth Generation Smart Technology." This marks the fourth network X2nSat has rolled out over its long history but it is different from a typical upgrade, said Trevor Wedge, sales and marketing director for X2nSat.

"It will not only include the 15 year-plus life-span of a typical geosynchronous satellite, but will also include entirely new antenna and router hardware," Wedge said.

To that point, ST4G features satellite dishes as small as 75 centimeters, X2nSat said, which means lower power draws and easier installation than other such equipment. And keep in mind, ST4G is not a cellular network; rather, it is a satellite network covering North America, free from telecom or cable infrastructure, with "speeds and experience similar to 4G," Wedge said.

Business Continuity Is Key

For partners, a 4G satellite product means a new outlet for business continuity service for enterprise and government clients. In fact, that's X2nSat's main business model, CEO Garrett Hill said in a November 2012 interview with Channel Partners.

"When we look at businesses, they all have primary connectivity," he said. "We are the first to agree that 2MBps fiber from Comcast is the cheapest way to solve the problem. But you need two services. As you are going to cloud or hosted services, it’s critical to have a reliable connection. If it goes down, not only does the office become unproductive, customers can’t reach them. Today, if they have a T1, they get a second one from another carrier, but it’s usually on the same facilities, so they need a true diverse path. The first thing they turn to is 3G/4G data card. But as [Hurricane Sandy] in New York City showed, the disruption can take out towers or they can become overrun by consumers. There is no business-grade service. It’s not a very effective back-up method."

X2nSat's approach is to put satellite on the roof with high bandwidth, Hill said.  

"Customers use it when they lose primary connectivity and we charge a low rate. When you do use it, there is no additional cost. It’s an out-of-market-redundancy solutions. As long as you have electricity, it works."

'Time to Enter the Indirect Channel'

X2nSat was founded in 1996 as an integration called Advanced Projects International. A few years ago, the company turned into a network operator when it bought the business division of ViaSat, which operates a consumer service called WildBlue. At that time, Advanced Projects International changed its name to X2nSat. But the provider still had not moved into the channel.

Now, though, X2nSat is adding the channel to its distribution strategy. So, why is 2013 the best year for that shift? The answer lies in technology – satellite services that can be bundled instead of just being sold in one-off scenarios, and the ability to deliver VoIP over satellite, said Dustin Young, X2nSat's first-ever vice president of channel sales.

"The need for a commercial-grade business continuity product that is impervious to landline disasters, and X2nSat developing those solution bundles with the ST4G network, meant it was time to enter the indirect channel," Young said.

And X2nSat has done so with an experienced channel and telecom executive. Young comes to X2nSat from Telekenex, where he served as the channel sales director. He also has worked in the channel programs at AboveNet and o1 Communications, and as an account executive for Pac-West Telecomm and WorldCom.

“I know my fellow channel colleagues will be impressed by what X2nSat has to offer," Young said. "I know X2nSat will have solutions for some of your client’s problems, which you thought were unsolveable."

X2nSat also is rewarding partners with commissions that range between nine and 14 percent. Hill told Channel Partners in November that X2nSat pays on renewals, but at a slightly lower rate. X2nSat operates three channel tiers, based on the total dollar value sold, he added. Everyone begins in the top tier. After the first year, partners are placed into the actual tier representing their total dollar value sold, and commissions are paid at that rate.

As for partner profiles, X2nSat wants agents who sell telecom services, as well as integrators, VARs and MSPs doing network design or cloud sales. Earlier this month, Top Speed Data became the first master agency to sign with X2nSat. Partners can expect training in the form of a 30-minute orientation and a one-time, follow-up online course. X2nSat also provides sales engineers and dedicated channel managers, Hill said.

X2nSat is staffing its booth this week with engineering, technical support, channel and marketing representatives, so partners may learn more about the company's products and channel program.