The company behind the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN), nbn, has unveiled plans to create a new route to market via the Australian channel, as the carrier seeks to tap the market potential of technology providers.
To achieve widespread adoption, ARN can reveal that the company has tasked Keith Masterton with leading the channel charge across the country, with a remit of leveraging partner, vendor and distributor expertise.
Specifically, the former Telstra channel leader will create a first of its kind channel program, designed to target specific industry sectors and technologies.
“The ICT engagement channel is focused on educating industry stakeholders such as IT consultants and suppliers about the nbn network so they are able to assist businesses in their transition,” nbn Business ICT channel development manager Keith Masterton told ARN.
“We know from our own research that many small and medium businesses look to IT advisors to help them during their transition so we are using the opportunity to mobilise the ICT community and equip them with information to advise businesses on how to get the best out of the nbn network.”
According to Masterton, moving a business to the nbn network is a process which can take time and preparation, with plans now in place to ensure businesses have enough support through the channel to prepare to connect such complex services.
“Enabling a community of ICT trusted advisors with knowledge and education about the nbn network will empower them to provide informed advice to end customers regarding digital business solutions enabled by the new network,” Masterton said.
In casting the net far and wide, Masterton said that nbn aims to target “all players in the ICT community”, including the large vendor and distributor channels as well as independent consultants across Australia.
“Ultimately we want to engage with as many consultants, suppliers and partners as possible,” he said. “Our focus this year will be on building and launching the ICT channel program including rolling out education, training and enablement.”
From a channel perspective, Masterton said the nbn can help providers tap into “massive transformation” opportunities across specific industry verticals and technologies, such as e-commerce, tele-health, security, storage and business continuity, alongside cloud-based applications and services.
“Many of these solutions require reliable high-speed broadband as provided over the nbn network,” Masterton added. “Business customers need help not only to navigate the transition, but also to maximise business value through the digital business transformation opportunity.”
During the last three years, the operator has grown the size of its network from nearly 500,000 homes and businesses to more than 5.5 million now able to order a service over the nbn network.
“nbn has a huge year planned and this will be our toughest year yet as we dramatically increase our rollout pace and begin switching on metro markets,” Masterton said.
“Strong headway is being made across the industry but as we further transition to a fully connected nation we want to ensure the business and ICT industry are prepared for the new network.”
Developing a partner-first strategy is not new to Masterton, with the industry veteran previously running the Telstra channel across Australia.
Before leaving the business in June 2016, Masterton transformed a traditional mobile telco channel into an applications and services focused ecosystem, operating at a scale of more than 20 times its original capacity.