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GTT Expands Partner Program, Hires Former Level 3, PaeTec, XO Leaders

Update

**Editor’s Note: Click here for our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know or here to see which channel people were on the move in November.**

GTT Communications is upgrading its channel partner program to make its agent partners more successful, from initial engagement with the company to direct support of partners’ end-user clients.

GTT's Eric Warren

GTT’s Eric Warren

Three regional vice presidents, each with extensive industry experience heading partner programs, will lead GTT’s channel partner program: Robert Westervelt in the East; Michael Gough in the central region; and Roland Saenz in the West. GTT provides partners with a dedicated team supporting the sales process, including sales engineering, quoting, project management and client account management, as well as marketing support — including product training and promotional materials.

Westervelt is a veteran of NTT America, Broadview Networks and XO Communications. Gough comes to GTT from Nitel; his experience includes a few years at PaeTec. And Saenz joins GTT from Level 3; before that, he was with AT&T.

Eric Warren, GTT’s division president, enterprise, tells Channel Partners the agent channel is a “large growth opportunity supporting the expansion of our enterprise business.”

“Industry consolidation has played in GTT’s favor contributing towards this growth opportunity,” he said. “We are investing substantial resources in the partner program to realize the full potential of partner relationships in the local markets. Additionally, our partner program will be a vital channel for our industry leading managed SD-WAN service. Another factor influencing the need for the program expansion is that we have acquired very large clients sold by partners and they require a different support structure. A key aspect of the expanded partner program is a world-class support organization to provide a differentiated client experience for these premier clients.”

The expanded program brings new structure and resources to strengthen partner support, Warren said.

“We have assigned dedicated back-office resources as well as other sales support resources including sales engineering, quoting, project management and client account management,” he said. “Additionally, we have expanded the marketing communications and product training support for partners. We are introducing upgraded client support based on our Premier and Gold client program. We have expanded our portfolio of cloud networking services, with the addition of low latency and optical transport services and DDoS mitigation. Most notably, our agent partners now have an industry-leading managed SD-WAN service to offer in their respective markets. Finally, we have appointed experienced leadership to oversee the expanded program.”

In October, GTT acquired Transbeam, a provider of managed data and voice services, for $28 million in cash. This followed its $100 million purchase of Global Capacity.

Partner input played a role in the program expansion, Warren said.

“Prior to putting in place the expanded program, the new channel leadership spoke with our agent partners to garner insights into the program elements that would enable them to be more successful,” he said. “The partners clearly indicated that they are seeking an alternative telecom service provider with GTT’s client focus and agility that also offers a strong partner support model. We listened carefully to them and are confident that the expanded program will be recognized in the industry as a client-focused, best of breed program that is also agent friendly.”

“GTT’s expansion of their channel-partner program demonstrates the company’s commitment towards their partners’ success as well as the importance of the indirect channel as a key element of their enterprise growth strategy,” said Matt Harty, CEO of master agent CNSG. “The company now has the sales support structure and comprehensive service offering, coupled with the simplicity of their commercial model, that make them a very attractive partner compared to the larger telecom service providers.”


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