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Advantage Bolsters Portfolio, Claims International Master Agent Crown

Global connections

Advantage Communications Group added another international carrier to its partner stable.

The New York-based master agent has signed an agreement with Sify Technologies, whose portfolio of products and managed services includes data center, cloud and system integration.

Advantage's Jesse Bernstein-Ansaldi

Advantage’s Jesse Bernstein-Ansaldi

Jesse Bernstein-Ansaldi, Advantage’s director of international sales, told Channel Partners that Sify’s headquarters in Chennai, India, made it an attractive target. Other Indian carriers have already partnered with Advantage, but Bernstein-Ansaldi said adding Sify gives subagents more choices. The added competition will improve pricing among carriers and afford another set of offerings to partners looking to serve Indian customers.

“It no longer is it just Carrier A and Carrier B competing against each other. It is now Carrier A, Carrier B and Carrier C all in a fight in order to win the business that we’re putting in front of them, from the subagents or from the direct clients themselves,” Bernstein-Ansaldi said.

Advantage has approximately 50 partnerships with international carriers – out of about 150 in all – and it has carved out a niche with its worldwide reach.

“When it comes to global projects, there isn’t going to be a better agent in the master-agent community that’s going to be able to offer and deliver in order to make sure that the client is getting the absolute best service,” he said.

While U.S. carriers typically have plenty of experience with the agent channel, Bernstein-Ansaldi and Gene Rogers, Advantage’s vice president of marketing, said international carriers are often new to the model. Advantage has built channel programs for those newcomers while functioning as an “international guru” for channel partners that serve customers with foreign locations.

Here’s our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.

Partners need help wading through the complexity of providing telecommunications to cities outside of the U.S., Bernstein-Ansaldi said. Unique business holidays, taxes and regulations are just a few of the complications that arise.

“Obviously in locations like Toronto, which is very similar to the U.S. — it’s a bit easier. But what happens when your client needs something in Mexico City or Mumbai or Dubai or Johannesburg or Sri Lanka? The list goes on and on,” he said. “The world is colliding, and everything is globalized. Every industry needs something somewhere outside of the United States, whether that’s a phone call that needs to be made to show up as a U.S. number, or it’s a private line or multi-WAN mesh type of network that needs to be built in order to make everything run seamlessly.”

Sify lists its private MPLS network as the largest in India and credits itself for becoming the first internet service provider in the country in 1998.

Mark Lander, Sify’s client director for enterprise, said that India’s internet “sits on the Sify backbone.”

“Established, well-known U.S. channel partners like Advantage play a critical role in Sify’s growth strategy,” Lander said. “India has the fastest growing economy in the world with an internet industry that’s expected to grow to $250 billion over the next three years.”

Advantage in July announced a partnership with Nova Solucoes that will expand its services in Brazil.


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