“We have invested heavily in resources,” said XO channel chief Shane McNamara, vice president — partner channel. “We really wanted to get the … structure in place so that we can enable these partners and help these partners grow. … As a partnership, we have to do our part to ensure the partners are doing their part.”
XO in January debuted its new commissioning system and by the end of the year will have a new quoting and ordering platform up and running. In 2013 a full-blown partner relationship management system will be added.
In addition to systems, XO has added people in leadership and support roles. First it has added two more area directors — Howard Huerta in the Central region and Dan Warren in the East region. Frank Reyes already was on board, covering the West region.
XO also created an inside channel management team, which includes five people that will support XO’s local channel managers on a 4:1 basis. XO has 23 local channel managers.
“We were finding that our local channel managers get tied down and get stuck behind their computers because they are pricing out everything from PRI to 100-node MPLS deals,” said McNamara. The inside channel sales group will be able to pick up the slack, allowing for LCMs to focus on strategic deals and face time with partners while at the same time improving turnaround for partner quotes.
The carrier also has added two new partner business development managers — one in New York City and one in Chicago, bringing the total to seven. McNamara said XO plans on hiring more people in this role, which essentially owns the partner relationship.
Furthermore, McNamara said XO has segregated its channel customers so that they are supported by a dedicated group of client services personnel. “That has increased dramatically,” he said. “We have more than tripled the amount of support for our customers.”