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March 30, 2012

Airband Continues to Expand, Improve Channel Partner Effort

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC

Airband’s channel program already has seen strong gains, but the company continues to strengthen this effort. It is adding staff to support it; better targeting potential partners; and providing education so selling the company’s fixed wireless services is second nature for channel partners.

The company already had an agent program in place when Tom Lane, channel director, came aboard in January, explained James DaBramo, executive vice president of sales. The company expects to do more hiring to support the agent program. The goal, DaBramo said, is to drive sales by getting the Airband story out to agents and helping them understand how its solution is different.

“I want them to wake up and say ‘that’s an Airband application,’” said DaBramo.

Airband provides voice and data services, including Internet, VoIP and business continuity solutions, over its wholly owned, fixed wireless network. This network bypasses the local phone and cable infrastructure to avoid downtime that can be caused by cable cuts or natural disasters.

Before Lane joined Airband, the company was just trying to get as many agents as possible, he added, but Lane is helping the company take a more targeted approach to identifying and on-boarding channel partners.

 Airband now has some great channel partners aboard, said Lane, adding that it has relationships in place with seven or eight of the top 10 master agents. The company is doing some lunch and learns, monthly webinars, and in the next 60 days will start visits to each of its markets to meet with channel partners.

The channel accounts for 25 percent of revenues at Airband. The company recently announced that sales in the program grew more than 100 percent, and sales by Airband’s top 10 agents increased by 120 percent collectively, during 2011. 

Among the largest channel partner deals last year had Airband working with eXemplify Group to install a 450-seat hosted VoIP and Internet access solution for a business center. Airband delivered a single-provider solution that decreased administrative hassles of dealing with multiple providers, increased the customer’s bandwidth tenfold, and lowered its overall costs.

Edited by Jennifer Russell
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