As promised in March, CenturyLink Inc. has merged the Savvis Alliances Master Agent program with the CenturyLink Channel Alliance and issued new rules of engagement, effective May 24, that should eliminate CCA partners’ concerns about the initial rules and compensation for sales of hosting services from Savvis, the data center company CenturyLink acquired last summer.
The new rules of engagement, which apply to direct and indirect sales channels, "virtually eliminate all instances that would drive a commission reduction," said Dale Tucker, director of business development for CCA.
Previous rules put in place in January reduced by 50 percent compensation for all Savvis hosting sales to current CenturyLink hosting and non-hosting customers. (This is essentially splitting the commission between CCA and Savvis.) Additionally, CCA agents were required to refer all prospective (non-CenturyLink customers) hosting sales to Savvis; closed sales were paid a "referral spiff."
Tucker said going forward there are no restrictions on prospective accounts and CCA partners can receive full compensation on sales of Savvis services as long as they can be supported by CenturyLink’s Enterprise Markets Group. EMG was created in March when the company combined Savvis with CenturyLink’s Business Markets Group. The carrier is working to integrate the full Savvis product line into EMG. The few that are not available are expected to be so by the end of the year. These include complete IT outsourcing, PCI auditing, intrusion detection, application performance monitoring and custom hosting products. That means all colocation and hosting products (virtual private data center, database, dedicated, etc.) and managed services (Exchange, backup, storage, firewall, etc.) are fair game.
These changes to the rules of engagement were pre-planned but not expected until the end of year. The accelerated rollout was due to a "rapid realization that we were not leveraging the sales capacity of CenturyLink with the Savvis products," Tucker explained.