Global Crossing Overhauls Channel Partner Program

The computing network services provider offers vendor reseller network a new, tiered structure.

Global Crossing Ltd., a $2.5 billion provider of computer networking services, has overhauled its channel partner program with a new, tiered structure that extends additional support tools, resources and training to the vendor’s reseller network.

The Business Advantage Partner Program is the first tiered offering the vendor has ever presented to its roster of channel partners, comprised of agents, system integrators and VARs. The program segments the vendor’s 160 channel members into three levels—platinum, gold and silver—based on the partner’s demonstrated commitment to working with the vendor.

Global Crossing said that the Business Advantage program is part of a broad strategy to fortify its commitment to indirect channels. The restructuring comes about one year after the vendor introduced a set of support initiatives for its 57 global partners selling services to enterprise customers.

Michael Jerich, Global Crossing vice president of channel sales, said that the company built the Business Advantage program to address the variety of support needs its partners present.

“We looked at the entire program and realized that we had different partners with different needs and that we needed to put a program in place to service those needs,” Jerich said. He estimated that the channel program restructuring will have a bearing on 75 percent of the company’s channel members.

Jerich, who has been on the job only six weeks and was brought on to further the company’s channel program, said that fostering channel partners’ self sufficiency is at the heart of the restructuring. “The key is being able to allow partners to service their own needs at any place in time,” he said.

Some details to come

He pointed to program additions and revisions, such as the vendor’s redesigned partner extranet, revamped pricing tools, network maps, product collateral and marketing materials that “tell the Global Crossing story” as indicative of the company’s determination to provide the necessary tools and resources to its channel partner community.

Jerich allowed that Global Crossing has not yet finalized certain details of the Business Advantage program, particularly the degree to which benefits attach to the three levels of participation. While declining to provide any specifics, Jerich said that dedicated support, market development funds and “other back office support” are part of the offerings.

“Depending on the level of program participation, there are certain associated benefits,” he said. “We want to be certain that we’re focusing on the partners who focus on us. We’re still defining the tiers and working through it. We want to make sure that existing partners do not have any benefits taken away from them that they had before.”

At this point, Global Crossing has released the names of only three of its platinum-level participants—Intelisys, based in Petaluma, Calif., CDW, based in Chicago, and Agent Alliance, based in McLean, Va.

Intelisys, which operates as a master agent in the Global Crossing partner program, praised the restructured offering. “Our top-performing sales partners value the commitment Global Crossing has made to the telecom indirect sales channel through this re-tooled and re-vitalized program,” said Jay Bradley, Intelisys telecom services president.

Jerich said that Global Crossing had been working on the new program since this past February when the company invited its top partners to provide input into “what we could do to build a program to meet their needs.”

He said that the vendor believes its timing is sound in delivering the program. “This is a great time for partners right now,” Jerich said. “A lot of companies have laid off IT resources and are looking for third-parties to give them an unbiased opinion of what’s available to meet their needs.”

TAGS: services,support,marketing,channel partners,channel

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