AT&T has appointed a new leader for its Partner Exchange channel program.
Randall Porter, who took the helm of the reseller program in late 2017, is changing roles, accepting a new position as national vice president of select accounts. He is still working under Anne Chow and AT&T’s national business unit, but his new position focuses on direct sales. Sara Straley, who has worked with Porter at Partner Exchange since the program’s genesis, will succeed him.
“I’ve been with the program since the very beginning and have worked hand-in-hand with Randall over the last six years. We’ve built a strong team and a best-in-class reseller program,” Straley wrote on LinkedIn.
Zee Hussain, senior vice president and channel chief of AT&T Partner Solutions (APS), informed Channel Partners of the news this week (more on that later in this Q&A). Hussain oversees Partner Exchange, AT&T Alliance Channel and ACC Business. We spoke to him about 2018 in review and his expectations for 2019.
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We have edited the transcript for length and clarity.
Channel Partners: What are your highlights from 2018?
Zee Hussain: Without question, our biggest highlight was the fact that the combined AT&T Partner Solutions channel grew north of 70 percent. When we brought Alliance Channel, ACC [and] Partner Exchange together … bringing these organizations under one roof, going off to the market [and] letting them know that we’re doubling down on our investment in the channel. We’re going to invest in the experience. We’re going to invest in channel resources. We’re going to invest in enablement. It will be well received externally, but as we think of all three of these organizations being semi-mature and bringing them together and executing — the fact we were able to deliver such strong growth was absolutely my number one highlight of the year. At Fusion (partner summit), that sentiment was echoed by other very prominent leaders in the business. You had Thaddeus [Arroyo], our CEO, up there talking about how happy he was with the investments. You had Mo [Katibeh] talking about the fact that he had challenged this group of solution providers, and they had answered the call. They’re extremely bullish about what the future holds for us.
First and foremost was the fact that we were able to deliver such tremendous growth for AT&T. But we couldn’t have grown that way without a lot of our solution providers growing as well. So certainly this was a win-win both ways.
It was a year of transformation, as you know. We made a lot of announcements around the fact that we were going to a state-of-the-art portal that would power all channels (powered by Salesforce), and that would elevate the experience of our solutions models. We transformed the compensation model. We transformed a lot of the ways that the solution providers engage with us — whether that was tooling, whether that was …