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O1 Takes a Break from Agent Business

O1 Communications notified agents via e-mail on Friday, Feb. 20, that effective Feb. 28, the company would no longer be accepting new agent business.

The letter from O1 CEO Brad Jenkins, said, “After carefully considering O1 Communications’ long-term business strategy, we are reevaluating our indirect sales channel program. This channel has not performed according to O1’s revenue targets and needs substantial retooling to create a profitable model.”

Max Seely, senior vice president at O1 Communications, said original agent contract obligations will be honored, and agent business already written will be delivered as written.

“O1 Communications has made a strategic decision to reframe our indirect sales channel,” said Seely. “Ultimately, we want to provide our channel partners with the tools they need to sell under a framework that is profitable on both sides of the equation. With a few modifications, we may be able to roll out an enhanced agent program that keeps pace with our carrier and direct sales channels – both of which have experienced record-breaking sales over the last few months.”

O1 hopes to relaunch the program in the summer of 2009 with a more robust portal, a help desk staffed with sales engineers, and a more targeted product set.

The company had originally planned to exhibit at next week’s Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, but Seely felt O1’s attendance would be “hypocritical” given the circumstances.

O1 also is eliminating internal agent manager positions during its shift back to focusing on carrier and direct sales.


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