C&W Turn to Channel

Cable & Wireless has made their future channel intentions clear – their route to the SME is via resellers.

Channel chief Ian Thomas told Comms Business Magazine that whilst the company already had some 110 resellers he was looking to recruit more.

“The key message is that there is an £8 billion SME market in the UK for voice, data and IT services and we only want to serve that market through a range of partnerships with the channel. We do not want to compete with our channel.”

Thomas sees his USPs as being; carrier grade products, national reach and business wining price points.

“When it comes to next generation networks Cable & Wireless will be making Ethernet services more readily available. At the end of this year we will be launching Ethernet Wireline which will provide connectivity bandwidth of between 1 meg and 1 gig in increments of 1 meg. This makes the product far more flexible for users to deploy as their bandwidth demand change or fluctuate.”

Thomas recognises that a key part of the bandwidth issue is what it is going to be used for and that understanding this means that you can then provide the user a better product and service.

Whilst Cable & Wireless will be putting together bundles of products and applications they can be provided individually as well.

“We will sell the whole solutions but also components of that solutions should the resellers have other products or arrangements they prefer. However, we will also be selling software packages which will enable applications to run over this core connectivity such as IP CCTV, ERP and many hosted services all of which will be available for the channel to sell on a session based charging scheme.

I believe that this is a compelling story for the channel and a real time response from Cable & Wireless to market conditions being forced upon resellers by their customers.

Our vision is to make all of this as simple as possible for the channel to sell. Implementing our products and applications will be via a portal. Resellers will be able to sign up a customer, for example, say a one month product trial, in just a few clicks.”

Thomas has already run channel seminars for many of his existing partners.

“We need to get resellers involved in our product and applications development processes. We value their input especially in areas such as features and pricing. It is too easy for companies to sit in darkened rooms thinking up stuff that we believe resellers want only to find out we were wrong.”

Comment: All the Cable & Wireless products and applications for the channel will be available as white label which means resellers have the opportunity to price them and their services to implement themselves. This gives the reseller a great deal of control and opportunity to make margin on new revenue streams.