Lisa Miller, CenturyLink's president of wholesale, indirect and alliances, closed TBI’s Big Event programming by talking about trust — the cornerstone of the relationships that drive the channel.
While she cited challenges, from globalization to the entry of new partner types, Miller is upbeat about the future of the channel. In fact, she cited findings by The 2112 Group and other media and research brands that bolster the strong position of the indirect channel.
“There’s no direct sales force that could attack all that opportunity,” said Miller.
However, there are challenges. A big one that came up several times during the event is the fact that purchasing patterns are changing — LOB leaders are being invited to the table over 80 percent of the time for technology purchases, says IDC. That means a sale takes longer.
“You need to able to talk security at the chief security officer level,” says Miller. “And within six short years, most of the people at that table will be millennials.
Within CenturyLink, Miller says she and newly appointed CEO Glen Storey
are working on how to disrupt its business from within.
“We are not as efficient as we needed to be,” she said. To respond, the company is aligning its five business units for maximum flexibility while creating an app to more efficiently deploy its 13,000 service technicians.
Miller says the marriage of CenturyLink and Level 3
has created a $24 billion company with 52,500 employees doing business in 60 companies and offering a full slate of consulting and products, 450,000 fiber route miles and about 100,000 fiber-lit buildings.
“We are really proud of our 20-plus year investment in the channel,” she said.
(Miller recently gained new responsibility with the move of her deputy John Delozier to 8x8