NTT (News - Alert) Communications, which is owned by NTT Corp., is one of the world’s largest providers of telecommunications services. IDC has named the company a leader in the worldwide telecom service provider and enterprise WAN data service provider arenas, noting its significant investments in upgrading its network and cloud networking capabilities with network functions virtualization and software-defined networking technologies; its delivery of the first commercial multilayer private cloud service based on SDN; the first global DCI service targeting multinational corporations; and its aggressive posture in adopting hybrid WAN services, Internet-based WAN alternatives, usage-based pricing, cloud IT, and secure access.
NTT America (News - Alert) was established in November 1987 as an NTT subsidiary to serve North America. The business sells managed enterprise hosting services, global IT services, Internet networking services, and private network services.
A little more than a year ago NTT America decided to bring its solutions to market using a mix of its existing sales force and the channel. So it launched its Global Solutions Channel Partner (News - Alert) Program. Kevin Goodman and Rob Westervelt are leading the effort.
Goodman, senior director of strategy at NTT America, led the development of the program and is responsible for its execution. He came to NTT America from Broadview Networks (News - Alert), where he was managing director of channel strategy and development. Westervelt is the vice president and general manager of indirect global solutions at NTT America and oversees the channel program. He was also previously at Broadview Networks, where he was senior vice president of indirect and agent sales; at XO Communications (News - Alert), where he was president of indirect sales; and at Teleport Communications Group, where he was vice president of sales.
It’s been 14 months since NTT America launched its channel partner program, and the company is excited to say that it’s running ahead of schedule in signing on program participants. INTERNET TELEPHONY recently checked in with Goodman and Westervelt to get an update. Here is a paraphrased excerpt of that conversation.
How many channel partners does NTT America have at this point?
Westervelt: Ten of the large master agents. We have 10 signed, with one more that should be signed this week or early next week.
What is the goal?
Westervelt: Our goal was to get 15 signed within the first 18 months to 2 years, so we’re way ahead of that goal right now.
Why do these channel partners like NTT America?
Goodman: We have global reach. So I think we’ve gotten a lot of traction because the channel is looking to rapidly grow, and we can help them do that. Our partners span from master agents to VARs to systems integrators. Mid market and enterprise companies are their target.
What NTT America services do your channel partners sell?
Goodman: Cloud, data centers, IP network, security services. Over the past couple of months there’s been lots of concern about compliance and lots of security breaches. We’re also seeing the trend internationally where we have data sovereignty really picking up in Europe because of things that happened with the NSA and other organizations. So those companies in Europe are very aware of where data is stored and where it is in the network.
These services are very different from what some channel partners are used to selling. What are you offering in the way of training for the channel?
Westervelt: We do train them, but we also have dedicated sales engineers from the cloud and network perspective who are available to go out on calls with them and to educate them and their customers.
What are you looking for in a channel partner?
Westervelt: We’re looking for the subagent community that is a trusted advisor for mid-market and enterprise accounts, and which are serving that group today. They can use NTT to go deeper into those customers.
What are NTT America’s financial arrangements with its channel partners?
Goodman: You can get residual compensation with us – not just referrals, you can also get residuals.
How else do you support your channel partners?
Goodman: We do want to make sure they’re educated on the trends. We’re helping them have broader conversations. The Internet of Things, big data, we’re helping move the channel into that.
How much of your business do you expect to come from the channel going forward?
Westervelt: At the end of 2016 we want to see 25 to 35 percent of NTT America’s revenues out of the channel.
Edited by Kyle Piscioniere