Sky has officially come to market with a Channel offering and in this interview, we talk to Mike Greening, Strategy and Commercial Director and Nick Powell, Sales Director at Sky’s Business Connectivity division about the new Sky Ethernet offering.
Comms Business magazine (CBM): Can you explain the decision to come to market at this point in time?
Mike Greening (MG): We could see an opportunity in the Channel to make a difference and challenge the status quo. We want to offer an alternative choice and meet the growing demand to deliver quality connectivity to the B2B market place. It seems to us that the wholesale connectivity market isn’t meeting the end-to-end expectations of the customer. That’s from nationwide gigabit coverage through to service support.
Nick Powell (NP): As bandwidth demand continues to grow we have identified the opportunity to provide quality bandwidth services. With almost 3,000 exchanges enabled for Ethernet, this puts us immediately at the top end of the suppliers out there. Yes, there is a push right now for some players to unbundle their own exchanges across select towns and cities, but very few players can reach a 96% coverage. With over 70% of our exchanges 10 Gb enabled, we also have significant capacity across our exchange footprint which is another plus for partners. Feedback from the Channel, clearly indicates our supply capacity and footprint are especially important and are what makes us stand out.
CBM: Can you give me some specifics about your Ethernet proposition?
MG: Our Sky Ethernet proposition is Layer 2 Ethernet with 100 Mg bearer and 1Gb bearer products across the full bandwidth spectrum. We’re initially focused on providing Ethernet and believe in delivering flexible and innovative solutions to our partners such as our robust and reliable approach to resilient interconnect. The joy of Sky Ethernet is that it’s not encumbered by legacy which means we can work with our partners to create and deliver more innovative design solutions.
CBM: What kind of freedom does not having a legacy base give you?
MG: It’s simple really. Not having a legacy base gives us a chance to re-write the rule book. Because we don’t have any legacy products or contracts to protect, it means we are not restricted and can be open minded about where we go and where we invest. For years there have been Channel opportunities around movements in WAN technology migrations from MPLS to SD WAN and movement from soft phones to soft PBX/ cloud-based services. We believe there has always been a vested interest in historic, invested technologies and as a new entrant to the Channel, as a company that is investing in future opportunities, we are not currently bound by legacy.
CBM: What is the partner strategy?
MG: It’s key for us to work with a diverse range of partners. That may be specialist connectivity players and aggregators through to international carriers and SI’s. I think in each of those pools, people are innovating and those are the types of player we want to work with. We are looking for deeper relationships where we collectively want to grow wallet share and develop services and platforms of the future together.
We also understand that we are launching into a crowded market, so our channel proposition has to be different. For example, we believe in offering fair and fresh rewards for partners that work with us. We can offer partners money can’t buy experiences such as giving partners access to sporting events and content which they just can’t get elsewhere. We are bringing that bit of Sky magic to our offering and that makes us unique.
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