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Emeritus Evolves, Names New GM

Emeritus Communications Inc. (Booths 407-409) is undergoing a transformation executives say will leave the company with a laser-like focus on sales and marketing, including the channel.

Over the next six to 12 months, Emeritus will be consolidated under its parent, VarTec Telecom Inc., one of the largest privately held companies in the country. While the legal and regulatory details of the transformation are being worked out, the marketing plan is already on the table. The new logo, for example, is debuting today at the company’s retooled booth at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo.

In addition, the company is consolidating its operational functions underneath the parent with sales and marketing becoming the primary focus of the refurbished Emeritus. Key to this transition is the Feb. 1 appointment of Bobby Mahler as the new general manager. Mahler replaces Randy McNeal, who has been tapped to be senior vice president for network planning for VarTec.

Mahler has nearly 30 years experience in telecom, having served as a founder or executive at telecom companies, such as LDS Inc., Fiberline Inc., TelePlus Inc., Claydesta Communications, U.S. Dial Tone and Talk America.

He joined Vartec in October as national director of distributor sales to develop an agent channel for the carrier’s residential UNE-P launch this month.

"We want to bring the core support pieces that were previously within Emeritus into the support structure of VarTec, i.e., product pricing and development, which is already being supported here, to allow me to concentrate on the main goal and that is increasing sales within Emeritus," says Mahler of the plan.

Darrel Rasey, senior director of alternate channels for Emeritus, uses the analogy of General Motors. "The Pontiac division is just the name on the car; they are using the same engines in the Oldsmobile, Pontiac and Cadillac," he says. "That’s kind of what we are doing. We are using the same resources in Dallas, at VarTec, but there are a couple of other names out there, such as Emeritus and Excel. It’s all one family."

VarTec Telecom subsidiaries include Emeritus; Excel Telecommunications Inc. and its European arm, EurExcel Ltd.; VarTec Telecom Europe Ltd.; and Protel, a Mexico-based telco.

With Emeritus’ narrowed focus on building sales, Mahler says the team is evaluating the product portfolio for the channel and making modifications as necessary to become more competitive in the marketplace. "Because of the initiative that we are putting in place and bringing things into corporate, we are able to see a difference" in our cost structures that should impact the offer to the channel, says Mahler.

Rasey says there will be a general reduction in pricing available to dealers across the board, and details will be available today at the companys Channel Partners Expo booth.


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