Startup Xact To Sell Cloud Services Solely Through Agents

There’s a new, channel-centric cloud services provider in town.

Xact Communications has launched in Lexington, Ken., as a cloud phone and Internet supplier. The startup is led by Dale Cooper, president and chief sales officer, whom many agents know as a top Lightyear Network Solutions partner and head of master agency eSquared Communications. Cooper said he remains financially involved in eSquared but that his business partner now runs the agency full-time.

While Xact continues to finalize its debut the website remains under development and the company just recently committed to lease 2,000 square feet in Lexington and create 20 new jobs certain details are set in stone. Cooper said Xact will sell through agents, some of whom company officials already know; others, they plan to recruit. Those indirect partners will pitch Xact’s services to businesses throughout the country. In return, Xact will pay a residual buy-rate, rather than a commission, and offer evergreen for the life of the customer. Cooper said the buy-rate approach eliminates the possibility of half-commissions and other problems, and promotes shorter sales cycles.

Support for agents includes resources such as online portals, sales engineers and dedicated channel managers. Xact also is developing point-of-sale software so agents can evaluate, quote and sign contracts on-site with customers. Finally, for now, Cooper will serve as Xact’s channel chief until he decides which channel manager to promote to that position.

Xact’s startup comes at a time of change for the indirect channel, evolution that is prompting many partners to seek vendor security. For one thing, mergers and acquisitions and the cloud all are upending how business is done. Plus, some providers experiencing high growth are changing their channel programs, business rules and even competing against their agents. Cooper said Xact will not follow in those footsteps.

“We wont be your competitor, we offer evergreen, we do not have customers or territories that you are ‘locked out’ of or cant sell into,” he said. The agent, he said, “still has the control.”

Xact is pumping $1.57 million into Kentucky’s economy and, for that investment, the state has preliminarily approved up to $300,000 worth of tax incentives for Xact. If Xact meets certain job and investment performance targets, it will be allowed to claim some corporate income tax credits and wage assessments.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Xact will use its own switches and proprietary technology, or whether it’s reselling an existing provider’s services.

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