Ahead of the Convergence Summit at Esher this October we are talking to a number of exhibitors about their plans for the show. Here we ask Randall Smedley, Sales Manager for Viatel European Wholesale what we can expect to see at Sandown Park.
Comms Business Magazine (CBM): Why have you chosen to book a stand at the convergence Summit?
Randall Smedley (RS): We feel that Convergence Summit South is an ideal opportunity to formally launch our dedicated partner program into the channel community. We attended the summit last year as visitors and based on the quality of exhibitors and visitors alike, we decided that this year the show was a must for us to exhibit at.
As part of Viatel’s future strategy, Channel Partners form a crucial route to market for Viatel on both our Wholesale High Speed Network products and our recently launched Europe-Wide IP product portfolio. We are looking forward to working closely with Comms Business to ensure our channel focussed portfolio of products is fully understood by the channel community, hence attracting the right visitors to our stand.
CBM: Will you be launching or announcing any new products, applications and services at the Summit?
RS: We are thrilled to be launching our channel partner program at the Summit and revealing the strength and depth of the associated product portfolio.
CBM: What will be the benefits to resellers of partnering with your company?
RS: The 8,500km Viatel network is uniquely positioned in the market with the majority of the network infrastructure being wholly owned, this ensures Viatel a great deal of control over lead-times and costs compared to other players in the market.
Potential partners have the opportunity to get onboard early and maximise the opportunities that sit within this space.
CBM: Can you provide resellers with any tips on how to sell products such as your own?
RS: Viatel plan to provide a full programme of training and seminars to our partner network on the full Viatel product set.
End users are buying your products for many reason; our ultra-high speed, low latency network lends itself very well to the finance and ISP sectors but we are also strong amongst many other vertical sectors due to the breadth of both our layer 2 and layer 3 product portfolio.
Why partner with us? Our network infrastructure is wholly owned so partners can deal directly with the network operator and our flexible approach means that we can meet changing requirements. Additionally, our lead times can be as low as 5 working days in some cases giving our partners a unique, winning advantage in the market.
CBM: How you see the state of the market overall today and what is your outlook for the future?
RS: The communications market is once again undergoing a sustained period of mergers and acquisitions, not just within the UK but across Mainland Europe too. I receive weekly newsletters in my inbox telling me who has bought who this week and sometimes there can be two or three of these each week. It’s hardly surprising then that there is a certain amount of uncertainty as to what the landscape will look like in 12-18 months’ time.
However, what is absolutely certain is that a consolidated market will have fewer players, not all of which will be partner friendly and not all of which will have a reputation for good quality service and support, so choosing the right supplier to work with is of paramount importance. But how do you do that in an ever changing market?
Finding a company that is perhaps asset rich, of a certain size but without huge debts and one that is not VC owned might be a good start. But what else?
I believe the most important piece of the jigsaw is to work with a company that puts its resellers and partners first, develops innovative products designed for the channel community and one that rewards collaborative partnerships with mutually beneficial long-term relationships.
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