CHANNEL PARTNERS — The nation’s second-largest wireless provider made big channel program announcements during Monday’s lunchtime keynote session at the Spring 2015 Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.
AT&T talked up new features for its two-year-old AT&T Partner Exchange initiative. Program participants now get access to the following:
- Investment development funds for functions that go beyond marketing such as sales and operational consulting, and API development and systems enhancement. Funding is available through a portal where partners choose from a list of third-party vendors.
- Certification Achievement Program, whose tracks include network, cloud/hosting and mobility. The program already features the Core level and, later this year, will contain the Professional and Master tiers.
- Ecosystem additions, including billing-as-a-service from suppliers such as BluLogix, Omniware, OneBill and Profitec. The idea is to ease the billing process for partners and encourage AT&T Partner Exchange solution providers to use the company’s API platform to create unique ways to do service availability, quoting and ordering. MasterStream, FPX and ChikPea all are new to the ecosystem, too.
- Simplified tier structure, meaning that the two-tier setup will include the Platinum and Elite levels. Solution provides will have access to better pricing and more benefits, such as the additional MDFs, the higher they go. Plus, AT&T Partner Exchange recently combined with AT&T Wholesale and ACC Business to create one organization, AT&T Partner Solutions. This will help agents, solution providers and wholesaler users choose how they want to work with AT&T, the company said.
The changes and additions come as AT&T tracks six major trends affecting the channel, said Sue Galvanek, vice president of marketing, pricing and product solutions for AT&T during Monday’s luncheon keynote. Those trends are:
- Video consumption
- Software’s shift to the cloud
- IoT connections
- Big data
- Security and privacy
The big takeaway is the exponential growth in data traffic. This increase – which rose 100,000 percent at AT&T between 2006 and 2013, Galvanek said – “provides incredible opportunity for everyone in this room.”