Level 3 Communications Inc. told Channel Partners Thursday that Michael Jerich, the former vice president of channel sales for Global Crossing Ltd., will head up the new combined channel programs. In addition, Level 3 confirmed it plans to honor all agent agreements it acquired from Global Crossing.
Level 3 closed its acquisition of Global Crossing Oct. 4, boosting Level 3’s position as a global communications carrier with undersea network facilities and fiber infrastructure on three continents in more than 45 countries.
Jerich will lead Level 3’s channel initiatives, including Business Partners, VARs/systems integrators and Strategic Alliances. He will oversee sales, sales engineering, partner support and partner programs.
Level 3 is familiar territory for Jerich, who joined Global Crossing May 1, 2009, after serving as vice president of sales at Level 3. While at Level 3, he helped build the first indirect channel program and was responsible for the company’s indirect sales organization and $75 million in revenue. In addition to designing and implementing a partner recruitment strategy, Jerich managed and negotiated Level 3’s reseller, wholesale, system integrator and VAR agreements, as well as their strategic relationships. He also helped build new channel support vehicles, including a 10-person partner support desk, a master reseller program, the Level 3 partner advisory council and a partner recruitment database.
As far as other Level 3 channel staff members are concerned, a spokesperson said it was unclear whether there would be forthcoming layoffs.
“While it’s too early to determine the impact on specific areas, duplicative roles and synergies will result in some reductions over time – that comes with virtually any acquisition – but we anticipate that some will occur through attrition and some will be offset by hiring in certain areas," the spokesperson said. “In fact, we expect to grow our employee base in certain areas of the country as we add to our sales force and customer provisioning teams to support our growth and customer."
Level 3 said it will honor the agent agreements under the Global Crossing logo.
“It’s business as usual. We’re honoring both [agreements] right now and will continue to do so until there is a need, if arises, for a uniform contract," the spokesperson said.
The combined program includes crossover among master agencies, but little among subagents given the differing portfolios of the two companies.
“This will be a great opportunity for the combined indirect program to further penetrate these existing partners with additional services and geographies," the spokesperson said.