Wholesale broadband provider, Request Broadband, is implementing a new training and accreditation program in an effort to motivate its partners to pursue greater sales and technical skills around its products.
The company’s channel is split between carrier/ISP partners and systems integrators that offer broadband connectivity as part of a business’ IT solution.
In recent years, the latter group has started to make up a greater proportion of Request’s 160-strong channel, hence the need to begin to differentiate between them according to their skills.
“We had a very even and consistent approach to channel partners regardless of their size and needs,” said Request CEO, Phil Sykes. “This needs to evolve – the one size fits all approach no longer works. We need to recognise the value of our relationship with partners.”
Request has set up a Professional Partnership Program (PPP), a four-tiered channel program that splits partners into Platinum, Gold, Professional or Channel Partner status. It has set minimum revenue levels for each tier but refuses to make them public. The levels of accreditation will be judged on both these goals and the partner’s commitment to sales and technical training.
Partners will be rewarded as they attain greater accreditation through both branding and access to a larger slice of Request’s “Growth Fund” (co-op marketing dollars) pie. Higher accreditations also provide partners with a greater share of Request’s in-house support capacity.
Sykes said partners at the highest levels would play an important role in future product development under the channel shake-up.
“The product development process will take into account the partner’s business processes, such as billing,” he said. “We won’t complete the development process until our partners are ready to launch the product.”
While the channel program is not an attempt to attract new partners, Sykes said Request was commercially and technically able to do so.
The next goal for Request is to sell the scheme to its channel partners.
“The success is like a golf swing,” he said. “It’s all in the follow through.”