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Global Crossing Expands Outside Sales Team

Global Crossing Ltd. is seeking to broaden its outside sales channels around the world after finding its services sold by independent reps are a good match for midsized enterprises with at least 100 employees.

Global Crossing had aligned with 50 U.S. sales agencies heading into the spring, and the company was seeking about 25 more partners that could woo businesses with multiple locations.

The company’s hunt also extends to the United Kingdom and Latin America, where it is seeking reps, such as Cisco Systems Inc. silver and premier level partners, who are knowledgeable about IP telephony.

Kevin Gorman, senior segment manager for the Global Channel Partner Program, says the company is further along in its channel building in the United Kingdom than it is in Latin America where independent sales channels for worldwide applications are not as common.

Gorman says the Global Crossing indirect channel is a small but growing piece of the overall business at the company, which generated 2004 revenue of $2.49 billion and employs a direct sales force of 750 people.

Evan Gillman, co-founder of Transit Broker LLC, an agency representing Global Crossing, says the carrier has built a comprehensive online portal to support sales reps and employs a small team of agent managers who are dependable. Gillman says he is impressed by the fact that Global Crossing has a number of employees with 10 years or more of experience at the company and its predecessor, Frontier, which Global Crossing acquired in 1999.

Brian Covney is one of those employees. He became director of segment management for indirect channels about six months ago.

“We are simply putting more resources in the indirect sales channel because we see it as a viable distribution channel to reach more enterprises [that] are in our sweet spot,” Covney says.

Global Crossing executives say that sweet spot is a business with 100 or more employees in multiple locations across the United States and abroad.

More than a year ago, Global Crossing revamped its program for sales partners as part of an initiative to court small and medium businesses. But the carrier later discovered that its products were a better fit for larger companies. “We just weren’t a good fit for the smaller companies of the world,” Gorman says. “We really weren’t developing some products that might be relevant to the smaller enterprise like … a hosted PBX application which we still don’t have.”

Global Crossing announced plans in March to sell its small business group to Matrix Telecom for $40.5 million in a deal that does not affect the indirect channel. Global Crossing CEO John Legere said the sale of the unit, which provides voice and data services to an estimated 30,000 small and medium businesses, would allow the company to concentrate on its core business: supporting carriers and enterprises.

In a fourth-quarter earnings release, Global Crossing said it anticipated 2005 revenue to decline by 22 percent to 28 percent as the company reorganizes to become profitable. Global Crossing delivers communications services to enterprises and carriers in 500 major cities, 50 countries and six continents predominantly over its worldwide network.

Links
Cisco Systems Inc. www.cisco.com
Global Crossing Ltd. www.globalcrossing.com
Transit Broker LLC www.transitbroker.com

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