CHANNEL PARTNERS After Speakeasy, Covad and MegaPath merged last year, the indirect sales structure took a while to come together. But the combined company, which goes by MegaPath Inc., unveiled the details at the Spring 2011 Channel Partners Conference & Expo.
The challenge was to create a program that appealed to MegaPath’s master agents, Speakeasy’s IT consultants and referral partners, and Covad’s various agents, who lean toward the wholesale side. Plus, MegaPath needed to be sure it offered the right tools and training to each type of partner, because their needs vary.
“I think we nailed it,” said Chris Gellos, MegaPath’s senior vice president of sales, who replaced Dan Foster earlier this year.
For master agents, MegaPath added seven staff members and made sure its direct sales force now works with and supports the indirect channel. And the shift shouldn’t come as a surprise to masters; Gellos said MegaPath consulted with them along the way. Independent agents, meanwhile, may sell services through a master or through MegaPath directly. “If you’re one of those legacy referral partners, we didn’t want to shuffle you off,” Gellos said.
At the same time, MegaPath has ratcheted up its focus on education. The company has turned its road-show presentations into an online classroom; the “much more robust” MPLS University is a key feature, Gellos said. MegaPath also is developing certification but is taking its time. “We want that MegaPath certification to mean something,” said Gellos.
Financially, MegaPath partners should see few changes. The most important aspect is that partners who want to earn a one-time lump sum may do so and those who want residuals may opt for that form of payment. Those choices aren’t new for MegaPath, but now that the three carriers’ programs are consolidated, there’s consistency. There is a new twist, though. MegaPath added some top tiers for master agents who turn to MegaPath as their primary carrier. The operator wants to boost the amount of revenue it earns from partners that number stands now at about 30 percent so it’s offering more levels that bring higher returns. Referral agents should see higher commissions as well. In no case is payment cut, Gellos said.