The new designation follows an unprecedented channel marketing partnership forged between the two companies in 2009. That deal enabled TBI to promote its multicarrier portfolio of connectivity solutions to the gearmakers 2,000-plus VARs and ADTRANs gear to TBIs more than 1,000 subagents. Formal marketing activities began in January 2010.
TBI completed IP telephony certification as an ADTRAN ADvantage Plus Partner and resells the companys NetVanta 7100 IP telephony solution as well as its ADTRAN Custom Extended Services (ACES) professional services.
TBI’s designation as a nationwide VAR for ADTRAN simply means that the gearmaker will compensate any of its territory channel managers for supporting sales from TBI and its subagents.
"It recognizes the value that we feel we have achieved with TBI and it recognizes the potential that our relationship has going forward," said Ted Cole, vice president of channel sales for ADTRAN’s Enterprise Networks Division.
Cole noted that being assigned nationwide status is not a programmatic level within the ADTRAN partner program like ADvantage or ADvantage Plus, but an internal classification. It’s reserved for a "relatively few" large solutions provider relationships where ADTRAN has identified significant out-of-territory opportunity and aligned resources and incentives accordingly.
The arrangement overcomes one of the primary challenges for master agencies turned VARs: the restrictions of regional territories. Most master agencies represent multiple carriers and can provide telecommunications services to businesses nationwide. As such, they also recruit subagents nationally.
"Our biggest subs are not always in our markets," explained Mike Saxby, TBI’s chief strategy officer. Such was the case with an earlier ADTRAN sale completed by a California-based subagent through Chicago-based TBI, he said, explaining that TBI’s local ADTRAN channel manager had to fly out to California multiple times to support the deal. Going forward, the local California channel manager can provide that assistance.
"Without nationwide support from ADTRAN, we could not support our subagents in selling ADTRAN gear," Saxby said.