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GTT Channel Chief Touts SD-WAN, Addresses ‘Misconceptions’

Q&A

… PoP diversity. They can have network diversity. So I can give you a one-stop shop. If you find somebody out there that a customer wants us to get access to that we don’t have in our portfolio today, we’ll actually go out and try to negotiate deal with that provider to be able to offer that. We’re always looking for ways to make it simpler for the end customer to do business with us.

CP:How is your partner profile evolving?

RW: There [are] a lot of subagents out there. Today we have agreements with all the master agents, and what we’re really looking for are the premier subagents that actually sell into that midmarket/enterprise account. I think that they’ve always been the trusted adviser for those accounts, just maybe not on the WAN side. A lot of times they do other things, and now they’re [saying], “I’m the trusted adviser on inside wiring or other services that I offer. Now the customer’s saying to me and saying, “I need to replace my entire WAN.” We’re always looking for that next subagent that can sell our products and services.

CP: How is GTT’s channel changing?

RW: I just backfilled myself with a VP for the East. His name is Gene Elmore, based out of Atlanta. We are adding a fourth vice president. Currently we have three today. What I call the back office – which is the quoting and the contracts – we’re streamlining that. We acquired a company called Access Point back in October. Probably 80 percent of what they did was agents, so we looked at what their back office was and how they were interacting with agents. We’re changing our back office to be a little bit quicker on turning quotes around and pricing around, and we’re getting good feedback already. That’s really exciting. The good news is we’re able to adapt and make changes, because as more and more partners are coming in, we want to be able to turn those quotes and pricing around quicker and get contracts out. We’ve probably cut the timeline down by 50 percent already, and it’s only been a couple of months.

CP: How has your portfolio changed?

RW: We offer all types of connectivity today, whether it’s MPLS, DIA — we do offer voice services. When we acquired Access Point, we acquired UDP, which is POTS lines. I never ever thought I would sell POTS lines again, but it’s back. I don’t think POTS lines ever went away. We have the complete networking products, from voice to data to any kind of interconnection that a customer wants. It doesn’t always have to be SD-WAN. It can be MPLS, it can be DIA, and through all the different access modes with the partners that we team up with.

CP: What’s your message to partners?

RW: I think there’s a misconception …

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