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AT&T Channel Chief Exclusive: ACC Business Channel Team Expanding

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… positive. Every partner that I’ve spoken to views this as a huge investment and as a reinforcement of what we’ve been talking to you and others all about around our investment in the channel.

You’ve been following the Partner Exchange for quite some time. Our partners love the technology investments in that channel. They love the enablement and self-service tools. They always tell us, “Hey, we love the channel. We just need more solutions to sell. If you enable more solutions, we know for a fact that we’d be able to bundle them in with what we have and deliver more revenue.”

We’ve done that this year. You saw at the [Partner Exchange] summit; we had several announcements around IoT and several things that we did around enablement. We announced Collaborate, which is our UCaaS product based on an SDN architecture. We enabled that for Partner Exchange. We also talked about FlexWare, which is our intelligent edge platform. We enabled that for Partner Exchange as well, and again, we’ve gotten tremendous feedback around those capabilities.

Finally with ACC, consistently what I’ve heard from our partners around ACC, is that they’ve figured the whole “easy to do business” thing out. Partners really rave about simplicity of experience with ACC. They talk about the fact that ACC is completely focused on the solution providers. There’s a lot of momentum in that business, and they want us to keep investing in ACC.

One thing that we haven’t shared externally yet: In the last couple of weeks we’ve talked to partners about it, but you’d be the first one in terms of an external outlet. Given that ACC has tremendous momentum and we’re getting such great feedback from partners wanting to do more with ACC — we are actually increasing the channel sales force for ACC by 50 percent. We’ve gotten those things in motion, and it’s going to be a big part of our growth strategy to build on the momentum that ACC has. We’ve communicated this to some of the ACC partners already, and we plan to communicate this to the others.

CP: What are your goals for 2018? How does AT&T want to be viewed in the upcoming year?

ZH: At a broader level, our goal is to be absolutely the premiere channel company across the entire industry. We believe in what we have in terms of a value proposition. We have Partner Exchange, with what we believe is really the only-of-its-kind reseller platform. We have AT&T Alliance Channel, and certainly that looks similar to the other agent programs, but some of the enhancements we’ve made [will] set us up for growth. And then ACC is an alternate brand where we simplify the portfolio and focus on the SP experience. So I’d like to think, from an AT&T standpoint, we’d like to be viewed as the premiere and the most flexible brand out in the marketplace that lets you do business on your own terms. Rather than dictating terms that you have to do business with us a certain way, we give you options, and hopefully that puts the SP in the driver’s seat …

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