ISP Q&A: Pacnet

Pacnet's Australian MD talks about the NBN, content filtering and corporate Internet services

Asia-Pacific long been recognised as region with strong commercial growth in many sectors including the Internet services industry. ARN caught up with Pacnet Australia CEO, Deborah Homewood, to talk about her company’s focus on Asia, opportunities for resellers and the NBN.

What is your company background?

Deborah Homewood (DH): Pacnet is Asia-Pacific’s leading independent telecommunications service provider bringing together innovation, technology and knowledge to define a new paradigm in Asia-Pacific connectivity. Pacnet owns and operates EAC-C2C, the region’s largest privately-owned submarine cable network at 36,800 km, with a design capacity of 10.24Tbps. The company offers a comprehensive portfolio of industry leading IP-based solutions for carriers, large enterprises and SMEs. Pacnet is headquartered in Hong Kong and Singapore, with offices in all key markets in Asia-Pacific and North America.

What impact do you foresee the NBN having on your company?

The NBN will provide a level playing field for all service providers with broadly available access and high-speed connectivity. This will increase pressure on ISPs to differentiate in the market, and service and content is predicted to be the key. Although the question is still not answered, the network quality of the NBN is critical. Businesses require different classes of service over the network to run real time voice and data applications not just internet grade applications. This will be a challenge for the NBN particularly as consumers and businesses have increased content moving across networks.

What is your prediction for the ISP market in the next 12 months – do you forecast any big changes?

Content is king! The focus on delivering sophisticated content in large volumes over a network is set to grow exponentially over the next 12 months and beyond. It is up to the ISP to make the shift from being just an access provider to offering content options to be delivered over their network to the customer’s desk top. A major differentiator for services providers will be how much content they can deliver to the customer over their network. Businesses will be looking at cloud theory solutions and consumers are set to demand applications such as greater IP TV choices.

What is your stance on ISP content filtering?

Pacnet offers in-the-cloud filtering solutions for both business and consumer customers; however it is up to the end user to manage the application of the filtering. Pacnet provides products and educates its customers about responsible content filtering to ensure informed decisions are made by end users.

Do you believe ISPs should be held legally accountable for what their customers share over the Internet?

Pacnet believes the ISP should not be held legally accountable for the behaviour of a customer. However, we are committed to being a responsible corporate citizen.

What is Pacnet’s reseller strategy?

Pacnet has a well established channel program that has been growing from strength to strength since it was launched over six years ago. Pacnet Partners are a valued part of the sales team and rewarded and supported for being part of the program. Pacnet’s product suite, which is available through channel partners, is tailored to meet the needs of the Australian SME market with DSL, SHDSL, Fixed Wireless, Satellite, Fibre, Ethernet, voice and various networking, managed services and security solutions.

Partners receive guaranteed commissions that are set at attractive rates for both finder’s fees and ongoing trailing commissions. Above the standard commission structure, Pacnet offers a bonus rewards scheme, which rewards partners that reach quarterly targets. Pacnet’s focus is to assist the channel partner and provide a superior level of service and support. All channel partners have direct access to a specialist partner team who provides priority technical support including qualified engineers, marketing support and a dedicated account manager.

You can also view responses from other ISPs participating in ARN’s Q&A series:

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What additional opportunities do you see for resellers who want to use your products?

As part of the program, partners receive significant discounts for Pacnet services they use for their business, and this is on top of trailing commissions. In addition, partners have access to the marketing development fund, which is unique in the way it contributes funds and resources to the partner to launch revenue generating marketing campaigns to bring hot leads to the channel partners. Marketing activities include direct mail, lead generation, search engine, brochures, billboards and more.

What are some of the challenges they should be aware of?

As customers run increased content and applications over their networks, the quality of a businesses infrastructure is vital to ensure it will cope with growing demands of traffic over the network. Low-end or consumer-grade connections will not support many of the business applications that are latency sensitive or does not provide classes of service to priorities business critical applications. Channel partners need to be able to partner with a service provider who specialises in the area of business grade networks. Pacnet understands this growing trend and specialises in delivering business-grade networks for customers to gain maximum efficiency. Pacnet has a long standing history of working with partners to create tailored data and voice solutions to provide business grade solutions that are customisable as technology demands grow.

What are some of the key focuses for your company over the next year?

Pacnet has over 500 channel partners within the Partner Program and is set to grow this to over 700 in the coming year. The recruitment drive for quality systems integrators to join the successful Pacnet team is in full swing and current partners are seeing the rewards as the program grows and strengthens. Increased partner special offers, bonus commission, increased training, marketing and networking opportunities are just a few in a long list of benefit.

As the channel partner program grows and the demands for content increases, Pacnet is set to deliver a suite of business applications over the network which will be available to Partners to ensure they have the competitive edge.