BT Sheds Half of Channel Partners and Stokes Direct Fire

In what many channel players would view as a Groundhog Day, BT is set to announce that more that half of their channel partners within their Indirect Channel (BTIC) are to have their direct relationship with the carrier terminated.

Comms Business Magazine understands that a review of BTIC business undertaken by Director Mark Cornell has come up with a plan that will see more resources focused on fewer outlets. We further believe that many of the channel partners affected by the new strategy will be directed towards BT distributors such as Crane Telecommunications, Nimans and others.

The move follows earlier reports that BT had slashed the number of Gold channel partners to just a handful in recent weeks and that many of the BTIC staff were in the process of re-applying for their existing jobs.

Earlier this month BT had responded to the news that Cable and Wireless were themselves to shed 27,000 smaller customers by offering them a place to go.

In a statement issued at the time BT said “In the current uncertain times for businesses, with the shock withdrawal of a large company such as C&W, BT believes that customers need help to find a stable, long term and reliable provider.

Bill Murphy, managing director of BT Business, said: “This uncertain situation could be damaging to a business. They could be without service while they chose another supplier, which could harm their prospects. That’s why we have set up a free number for anxious customers, where they will be able to speak to a dedicated team of knowledgeable, trained staff.

“I can assure all businesses that BT still wants their custom. The SMB market is one of the most dynamic parts of the UK economy and we are already attracting around 2,800 business lines a week back to BT because of our trusted brand and good value packages.

Many observers have felt that BT’s stance has reinforced a belief growing in the channel that more and more business will be taken directly by BT in the lead up to 21CN

BT added, “Recent mergers, acquisitions and strategy changes have also left customers questioning future service from some suppliers. We are happy to take calls from, and advise those businesses too.”