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Agents Get Their Love Master: Agents, Carriers Express Their Appreciation for the Channel

By Paula Bernier

As noted in last month’s cover story, it’s well understood that agents have not been getting their love lately – at least not from some of the large incumbent providers. But that’s not to say no one is sweet on the channel.

At least a handful of master agents, service providers and others have proclaimed their dedication to the channel during recent interviews with INTERNET TELEPHONY. Here’s what some of them are doing to show they truly care.

Intelisys: Come Fly with Me

If you are a top-producing agent Intelisys Telecom Solutions may just be the partner for you. The company, which has been a master agent since 1994, has relationships with something like 36 service providers, including big names like AT&T, Level 3, Verizon (News - Alert), XO and many others.

Christina Dumlao, marketing director at Intelisys, says the company offers its agent partners a wide variety of solutions to help them capture and keep customers. That includes a technical expert that can help agents close the deal, a telecom asset management solution, mobility services, churn-control tools and strong back-office capabilities.

And Intelisys, which has about 300 agent partners, is not shy about expressing its appreciation to its best producers by offering some really awesome trips, Dumlao adds.

The Intelisys Top Performing Champions Club, a.k.a Club TPC, rewards Intelisys sales partners with free travel to and accommodations at Channel Connect and the Club TPC trip. Channel Connect, an Intelisys golf, wine and business fair, this year will take place Oct. 6 to Oct. 8 in Napa Valley. The Club TPC trip, meanwhile, is in the Dominican Republic.

Membership in Club TPC requires agents to produce $100,000 or more of business per month. The first Club TPC member to hit platinum status, which is $1 million in revenue a month, will get two tickets to anywhere in the world, says Dumlao.


NTT (News - Alert) Communications: A Level Playing Field

Shuichi Ikeda, vice president of sales and business development for global IP network at NTT Communications (News - Alert), says his company has what he describes as a “channel neutral” program. But that’s not to say channel partners will be neutral on its appeal. That’s because the thrust of the program is to put channel partners on even footing with NTT’s inside sales staff.

That means the channel has the same pricing as the direct sales staff, explains Ikeda. He adds that NTT Communications also facilitates communications between channel partners and its global account managers to foster an environment of cooperation rather than competition.

Kevin Francis, vice president of business development at SilentPartner, an agent partner of NTT Communications that specializes in data center-related solutions, says NTT Communications is a flat organization, which provides its partners with better visibility and faster decision making.

NTT Communications has a three-pronged approach to the channel. It offers a referral program, through which a partner can get a one-time split; an agent program, which is the most popular, through which the agent gets a fee for the lead and a recurring payment if the deal closes; and a reseller program, through which partners can white label NTT services.

TNCI (News - Alert): Money in the Bank

In case you missed last month’s cover story, TNCI, which has more than 350 direct agent partners, allows agents to build equity in TNCI via the Agent Equity Plan.

“The AEP is truly a unique program in the channel because it contemplates TNCI building to a transaction, [and] recognizes and rewards individual agent partner-generated revenue with equity value that is determined based upon the revenue developed by the entire channel as opposed to just an individual partner,” explains TNCI President Brian Twomey. “[T]hen [it] applies the equity factor to each individual agent partner’s applicable revenue at the time of a TNCI transaction, while also providing evergreen earning protection for the agent partners.

“Not only is the program unique in that it establishes these benefits in advance of a transaction, but the program and its terms were entirely developed jointly by TNCI along with the Agent Alliance,” he adds. “[T]he ongoing results of the program are jointly managed and tracked on a monthly basis by both groups based upon full review of all related results. The AEP also has an advisory council comprised of several members of the Agent Alliance along with several independent TNCI agent partners. This group also meets to review results/growth, progress toward a transaction and the business direction of TNCI.” IT

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