The managing director of AAPT's SMB and channel business, IProvide, has confirmed the business is under review as a result of the telco's merger with PowerTel. But he declined to comment on rumours that it would be dismantled.
AAPT's parent company, Telecom New Zealand, struck an agreement to acquire a 100 per cent stake in ASX-listed telco, PowerTel, for $357 million in January. "Since the AAPT and PowerTel merger, all aspects of the business are up for review. We are not to that IProvide chief, Phil Sykes, said. He was unable to confirm or deny whether the division would sur vive or how long the review would take.
Sykes said IProvide currently had 140 Australian partners on-board and claimed the business was performing strongly. On the other side of the fence, PowerTel runs its own wholesale channel of 180 partners, which it inherited through its acquisition of Request Broadband in 2004.
While PowerTel's focus has been on wholesaling services to partners who then provide billing and support, Sykes said IProvide offered a range of ser vices to the dealers and systems integrators on its books.
"We have IT integrators who maintain the relationship with the customer but use us for billing and support. This gives them the opportunity to sell services around that and build a bigger business for themselves," he said.
"I think both models have a place: there are a lot of integrators who don't want the carriers in front of their customers, while others are happy to sell products with the AAPT brand."
IProvide was launched in 2005 as a joint venture between AAPT and Sykes. It offers a range of IProvide Office-branded VoIP, VPN and IP-based technologies for the SMB market sold solely through the channel. The company also maintains a formal channel program including training, marketing tools and online management services.