NTT Communications Helps Channel Partners Swim Upstream

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  November 02, 2016

NTT Communications (News - Alert) Corp. recently made available its security offerings to channel partners, created a new program to help the channel better address customers’ digital transformations, and offered an update on its overall channel effort.

The security initiative is one of the most important things NTT Communications has done since launching its channel program, said Jordan Whyard. The director of indirect channel sales at NTT America (News - Alert) said NTT Communications runs one of the world’s largest security practices, which offers both consulting services and managed services. That includes everything from network to the cloud, he said.

For example, NTT Communications can help organizations roll out global SIM programs that meet compliance and legal requirements. In an effort to expose physical security gaps, he added, the company has also been known to send people to its customers’ locations to see how far they can walk into a building without being stopped. Of course, these are just a couple of examples of the wide array of things NTT Communications does to help organizations with security.

Now NTT Communications is making its security capabilities available to its channel partners. That’s noteworthy, he said, because every opportunity has a security concern, so every service NTT Communications and its partners offer needs to address security. The company is providing master and sub-agents a security services award from now until the end of the year, with spiff payouts of up to $25,000.

As for helping partners address digital transformation, Whyard explained that NTT Communications has created a new program to better enable the channel to speak to customers and prospects not just about technology and single product purchases, but rather about topics like how to manage and monetize technology, trajectory, and other more business-focused things that end-to-end infrastructure and managed services can be employed to address.

NTT Communications is communicating to its channel partners via hands-on engagements and numerous webinars how they can identify gaps with their customers and offer them the appropriate solutions. That’s important, said Whyard, because not many agents ask customers what their end goals are during interactions. That, said Whyard, needs to change.

“This is arguably one of the most hands-on programs in the channel right now,” Whyard said.

NTT Communications launched its channel program two years ago. By March 2016, NTT Communications had on boarded 15 of what it calls “the largest, most credible and supportive master agents” and had generated contracts with large, global enterprise clients in various verticals, including electronics, government, health care, manufacturing, technology, utilities, and others. The company then shifted its channel strategy to focus on the sub-agent community.

To date, the company said, it has worked with “more than 100 new sub-agents, and is on target for sales goals, closing multiple, mid-range $1 million total value contract deals, and recently closing a multi-million-dollar opportunity.”

Fluent Edgeworks, a San Francisco-based IT firm specializing in the design, sourcing, and program management of cloud infrastructure solutions, is among the partners with which NTT Communications has had success. The companies have worked with a global consumer technology company that had a unified communications as a service project that needed some help. The companies came together to provide this customer with next-generation infrastructure using network functions virtualization and software-defined networking, explained Whyard.

“Fluent not only has tremendous engineering and operational talent, they also have domain expertise in international business law, which was especially relevant here,” Whyard said.

Andrew Whitaker, managing director and chief solution architect at Fluent, said: “We work with a wide range of IT service providers. The reason we wanted to team up with NTT Com was not only its global reach and infrastructure, but also for the company’s experience in other areas, like cloud-based security and IT management, which are key parts of deploying complex global projects.”

Whyard said the channel program at NTT Communications is unique because it makes services used by global Fortune 500 companies that were never before available to the channel accessible to it. That, and NTT Communications’ efforts to help the channel move beyond its legacy disposition to be transactional and price-driven, can provide agents with higher-yield deals, he said.

“We’re building them up,” Whyard said, “and teaching them how to go upstream.”

Edited by Alicia Young