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New GTT Americas President Eyes Channel Expansion, SD-WAN

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GTT Communications is hiring new channel managers as it pushes for organic growth.

Ernie Ortega, GTT’s division president of the Americas, said the company’s commitment to organic growth is why it’s hiring more than 100 new sales people and more than a dozen new channel managers. The ISP has made approximately 30 acquisitions over the last 10-12 years, including Interoute and Hibernia Networks, and is slowing down on the M&A front.

GTT is earning about 30% of business in the Americas through indirect distribution, according to Ortega, and he said he would like to see that number reach 40% or higher.

Towerstream's Eddie Ortega

GTT’s Ernie Ortega

“Our channel is well positioned to do that. And we have a product that resonates. The value proposition resonates well. And now that we’re hiring more channel managers, I see no reason why we couldn’t achieve that,” Ortega said.

Ortega joined GTT this summer after leaving Towerstream, where he was the chief executive officer. He has also worked for Colt, Cogent and XO. He told Channel Partners that he found GTT’s value proposition of serving global enterprises attractive and is committed to winning new opportunities in the enterprise.

Ortega said the combination of a Tier 1 IP backbone coupled with 3,500-plus regional access suppliers gives an attractive value proposition to enterprises with locations in different countries.

“Essentially what we have to offer with the enterprise space is our ability to connect all of your locations through the aggregation of our relationships,” he said.

He pointed to SD-WAN as a key opportunity and one of the biggest technology refreshes since the MPLS about 10 years ago.

“Now those MPLS networks are moving toward an SD-WAN,” Ortega said. “All of your enterprises are really starting to make those decisions, and that’s where we’re starting to focus a lot of our efforts.”

Ortega said an SD-WAN deal illustrates how a GTT channel relationship works. The SD-WAN’s complexity and lack of standards means that partners work hand in hand with GTT and the GTT channel manager to deliver a solution.

“That creates an even deeper partnership and relationship, because you’re really counting on the expertise that GTT brings, as well as the relationships that the agents have with all of the enterprises under their purview,” he said.

Ortega praised the work of Rob Westervelt, whom GTT promoted in January to lead channel sales in the Americas.

“When you boil it down, the channel candidly is starting to flourish within our company. And right now, I couldn’t be happier about it,” Ortega said.


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