(Pictured above: GTT’s Eric Warren on stage at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, April 18.)
CHANNEL PARTNERS CONFERENCE & EXPO — Feeling anxious about all of the consolidation that’s occurred in the channel? And the decreasing number of suppliers?
Eric Warren, GTT Communications‘ president of the Americas, said partners instead should be feeling more confident than ever about all the lucrative opportunities available to them. He was a keynote speaker Wednesday at the Channel Partners Conference and Expo.
GTT has acquired and successfully integrated more than 30 companies in the last 10 years, resulting in a revenue run rate approaching $1 billion.
Prior to all of the consolidation, the marketplace was unsustainable and fragmented, with inefficiencies, downward pricing pressure, limited product sets and customer complexity, he said. There are fewer choices now, but it’s “very financially stable,” he said.
“They’re so worried about the consolidation, and a big piece of it is their revenue; their business’ revenue is consolidating into very few companies now because of that consolidation,” Warren said. “The other thing they’re worried about is there’s less choice, there [are fewer] carriers to choose from and they think that leads to less price competition as well.”
Enterprise clients need a partner more than ever, he said.
“The world is changing and becoming so complex, and to navigate the change is very, very difficult, so they need that partner to navigate that change,” Warren said. “There [are] lots of opportunities out there and lots of alternatives out there like GTT, but enterprise clients don’t know about them and they can help them identify those other partners.”
GTT is a “massive consolidator” in the industry, but its customers “do not feel the pain,” he said.
The one thing this consolidation does is add more capabilities into a one-stop shop, Warren said.
“In the 1990s, there were lots and lots of companies, but a lot of them had very niche products and niche geographies, so it was very complex because you had to use lots of different vendors to build your network,” he said. “Today it’s about scale and scope, and the network to a lot of CIOs should not be the complex part of where they focus their time. It’s mobility, it’s security, it’s cloud migration. They just want the network to work, so by having a one-stop shop, it keeps things simpler for them, much simpler.”
Enterprises are focused on latest technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and SD-WAN, and “they can’t keep up with all of these technologies,” Warren said.
“Security’s tough, it’s really important and you can get fired if security’s a problem,” he said. “Mobility’s tough and cloud migration is tough. By creating a one-stop shop, versus having to go buy from four or five companies to patch together a national network, it adds simplicity.”
Instead of looking back, partners need to be present and to realize “it’s a really good time for all of us,” Warren said.
“It’s human nature to think of how things were so much better 10 years ago,” he said. “I’m here to tell you, I think things are really good right now. Seize the opportunity you have today.”