AT&T Alliance Channel Shakes Up Commission Options, Simplifies Partner Agreement



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Members of the AT&T Alliance Channel can now create a residual-based commission plan.

AT&T's Zee Hussain

AT&T’s Zee Hussain

The Alliance Channel announced four major changes to the way it does business with its partners. Zee Hussain, division president of AT&T Partner Solutions, tells Channel partners that members of the Alliance Channel now have the ability to receive residual payments for wireline services.

“Within our space, the most common commission plan that’s out there is a residual-based comp plan,” Hussain said. “And even though we have that available in ACC [Business], we did not have that available in the Alliance Channel. We had a lot of feedback from our partners saying that, ‘We would really like to see that in the program.'”

Kevin Leonard, AT&T’s vice president of alternate channels, says the program enhancements simplify the process of joining, transacting with and getting paid by AT&T. He says the residual commission option gives partners more choice.

“Every business has a different model. If you want to get paid upfront as we always have, you have that ability. And we’ve even simplified it. It’s not even as complex as it was,” Leonard said. “If you want to build up a book of business and a revenue stream with a residual-based program, you have that choice in our program too. And we’re going to give you the ability to bridge that, to go from our upfront into the residual.”

AT&T's Kevin Leonard

AT&T’s Kevin Leonard

The program is adding deal registration, which Hussain says will allow partners to sell more accounts. The Alliance Channel also is adding support for pre-sales and post-sales. Finally, the company has shortened and simplified its agreement for partners signing up for the program.

“From an initial engagement standpoint, when we go out and we talk to partners and they like our program and want to enter [it] – some of the legalese around entering the program [is] really complex,” Hussain said. “The contract is huge. It could have a lot of language in there could probably be a source of discomfort for our partners, so we’ve worked really hard to simplify the agreement.”

Wednesday’s announcement is the first major enhancement to the Alliance Channel since AT&T realigned its three channel programs. Alliance Channel, Partner Exchange and ACC Business are now under the same AT&T Partner Solutions umbrella led by Hussain. Leonard told Channel Partners last month that partners from each program would benefit from an increased availability of resources that comes from the realignment.

Leonard says the new enhancements come largely from pilots AT&T ran with different solution providers. Sandler Partners and Presidio were two of the companies that did the pilots and provided feedback.

“Since the inception of the pilot, Presidio has seen a tremendous improvement on turn-around time for requests. Our opportunities have increased substantially with AT&T and we are getting solutions in front of our customers much quicker,” said Richard Oppedisano, Presidio’s vice president of sales operations.

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