While each partner and each vendor follows a different course, they are all trying to arrive at a similar destination profitability. How to get there is a matter for debate. The community at channel partners is in agreement on at least one thing the indirect model presents a promising path.
What that path should look like is cause for disagreement. To discuss these points, PHONE+ will host a point-counterpoint general session to open the conference.
The roundtable, What is a Partner Worth?, will focus on what is takes to build and maintain a top-performing channel. Representatives from the service providers and agent communities will weigh in on the evolving requirements for success.
The point-counterpoint will be moderated by Michael Fair, a partner with consulting firm MarketRace, which counsels companies on building their agent programs. Carrier panelists include Chris Bantoft, executive vice president for alternate channels for PAETEC Communications, and Sandy Spencer, regional vice president sales for Qwest Communications Inc. Business Partner Program (QBPP). Partner panelists include Dan Bommer, president of PartnerTEL; Peter Radizeski, president of RAD-INFO; and Ted Schuman, president and CEO of PlanetOne Communications.
The debate will cover such questions as: What is the cost of an indirect sale? What costs must the channel bear? Does integration pay off? What impacts profitability? Is loyalty a two-way street? Who should do the heavy lifting?
There is a serious disconnect between many agents and their suppliers on the expectations they have for each other in developing a mutually beneficial partnership, says PHONE+ Editor Khali Henderson. Some of this may be a failure to recognize the changing dynamics in the telecom industry and their impacts on the participants in the value chain. Starting a formal dialog in the industry may help to overcome these gaps in understanding.
PAETEC Communications www.paetec.com
PlanetOne Communications www.planetone.cnet
Qwest Communications Inc. www.qwest.com
Rad-Info Inc. www.rad-info.net