January 13, 2014
Level 3 Communications Normalizes Contracts with Majority of Indirect Sales Partners
By Calvin Azuri, TMCnet Contributor
Level 3 Communications (News - Alert) has announced that the company was able to successfully normalize contracts with a majority of its indirect sales partners. The development is a major milestone achievement for Level 3, given the hard push-back from most of the channel partners. The announcement to normalize the contracts was made in 2011 following the merger of Level 3 Communications with Global Crossing (News - Alert), and the plan was rolled-out in January 2013. However, Level 3 Communications was unable to garner support from all the channel partners for the move, a problem which was further aggravated by the resignation of Michael Jerich, the then chief of channel program at Level 3.
“We have successfully signed all of the agents that had indicated they were going to sign with Level 3. That's not counting about 20 percent of the agents with direct agreements who have opted to roll their bases under a master agency,” said Garrett Gee, the current chief of channel program at Level 3 Communications. “What we did was eliminate those parties from the negotiation process because they were essentially sitting on the bench, waiting for us to come to terms with the rest of the partners, i.e. master agents, so they could move their bases. There was a variance between Global Crossing and Level 3 in the way that we paid. Based on the tiers that were developed, there may be some partners that have more favorable terms with regard to percentages and there may be some partners that had less favorable terms.”
The new consolidated Level 3 channel partner program rolls out a three-tiered structure such as Elite, Premier and Authorized partners, redefining the quota for minimum revenues and sales, bringing in new levels of support and benefits such as exclusive MDF and account teams. The company hired a third-party consultant to develop a benchmark for the compensation paid by Global Crossing and Level 3 Communications for the new tiered structure, to address the concerns raised by partners about compensation and sales targets.
The company is now focusing on including IT Value-Added Resellers (VARs) into its channel partner program. Level 3 Communications also announced the rollout of a new program in 2013, which allows VARs to be associated with Level 3 Communications or partner with one of its agencies or team up with the company’s direct sales force.Level 3 Communications is engaged in providing telecommunications and Internet services through its Tier 1 network. The company offers IP, core transport, voice, video and content delivery services with a customer base spread across North America, Europe, Latin America and a few cities in Asia. Level 3 Communications is also touted as the U.S.’ largest competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC).
Edited by Rory J. Thompson