tw telecom Talks Partner-Program Progress

tw telecom inc. says it has made significant progress over the past few months as it beefs up its relaunched channel program.

The CLEC which has had a rocky history with agents since the Xspedius buy last year opted to let partners sell its IP VPN, Ethernet and MPLS products. The decision came in 2010 after tw telecom restarted its indirect sales strategy. And the move appears to be paying off. Being able to sell the data services has helped agents bring important new healthcare, finance, manufacturing and retail customers to tw telecom. Because of that change, tw telecom has more than doubled the number of authorized representatives, said Dale Kammerich, vice president of the companys channel programs, although he declined to say how many total partners that represents.

tw telecom also increased some of the commissions for IP VPN, Ethernet and MPLS sales, Kammerich said. Again, though, Kammerich couldnt provide figures; tw telecom remains in a quiet period prior to releasing its quarterly financials.

Perhaps the biggest partner-program shift is the hiring of a dozen channel managers since late last summer. Many of those contacts are telecom-industry veterans, including Michael DeWitt, Randy Owens, and Deborah Slater. At the same time, tw telecom brought on some channel-dedicated retention specialists. Those experts are the people authorized representatives go to with matching promotions and pricing, for example, or upgrading services, Kammerich said.

This is a key need in the business,” he said.

tw telecom further has moved from a pretty simple channel support structure to a distributed model,” Kammerich noted. That means that, in addition to the retention focus, tw telecom now employs channel managers in the territories where it operates. So partners in Los Angeles now have a channel manager in Los Angeles, rather than in Colorado, for instance.

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