Lofty Ambitions

Peter-Kelly-Virgin-Media-Business

Virgin Media Business recently announced they would be offering small business products, including broadband bundles with speeds up to 300Mpbs, through distribution partners. Comms Business caught up with Peter Kelly, Managing Director, to see how Virgin’s new Channel activities, and ambitions of getting five hundred partners on board, were going.

Virgin Media Business recently announced they would be offering small business products, including broadband bundles with speeds up to 300Mpbs, through distribution partners. Comms Business caught up with Peter Kelly, Managing Director, to see how Virgin’s new Channel activities, and ambitions of getting five hundred partners on board, were going.

Q. Can you take us through the launch, the uptake to date and the initial roll out phase?

PK: The launch landed really well with the UK Channel. Through our distribution partners, and via our directly managed partners, we now have over 150 partners on the books. The key for us – particularly via our distribution relationships – is to support the effectiveness of the sales people within the channel, making it easier to sell and deliver ultrafast business broadband products.

Q. The decision to go through Daisy and DMSL, will there be further distribution relationships to follow?

PK: Both Daisy Distribution and DMSL have strength and depth in the channel and their reputations speak for themselves. They have embraced the ultrafast products and the opportunities to drive this through the channel, and we have a number of joint initiatives on our 2016 roadmap in order to further develop this. We’re not currently looking at extending the number of distribution relationships.
Virgin Media Business is dedicated to ensuring the UK business community has the tools and technology to progress. Our distribution relationships allow us to deliver technology and dedicated business support to partners irrespective of their size or profile.

Q. What opportunities do you see this opening up for the Channel?

PK: Small businesses are becoming more digitally savvy and their operations are increasingly dependent on progressive technologies. The opportunity for the channel lies within these businesses embracing the opportunities that tech provides and their desire to stay ahead of the game in terms of what technology is on offer and how it can propel their business – they’re crying out for faster connections and superior products that suit their ever-changing needs. Keeping up with these technologies and understanding the growing needs of these businesses is fundamental for channel partners.

Q. Five hundred partners is a lofty target, how do you intend to reach that number?

PK: The channel is one of the key avenues for serving the UK’s SOHO/SME community and we have invested time and resource to ensure we are in the best possible position to serve this community.

From sales enablement, marketing support and strong working relationships with all partners, we have a roadmap of activities to ensure we are responding to and meeting the needs of the small business community.

Through the processes we have established in the background, the creation of a partner enablement team led by a group that has a strong heritage in the channel, we can take the sting out of helping a partner progress their tech knowledge, protecting existing and delivering new revenue streams.

Q. With regards to the programme itself, what can resellers expect, what are the differentiators?

PK: The IPC (Indircet Partner Channels) is an entrepreneurial group of businesses, and they are keen to develop and gain access to the best and most progressive products on the market.

Notwithstanding access to an industry leading fibre broadband product, with the fastest, widely available business broadband speeds, we have invested and are committing to continuously developing our partner team, all geared towards helping their businesses grow.

Headed by Andrew Wilson, Head of Channel, who has 20 plus years in the channel, our partner enablement team is dedicated to supporting the partners in a wide range of activities from basic training and closing techniques, through to ensuring customer and partner satisfaction by clearly understanding operation process and workflow.

In terms of marketing support, we operate an application based development fund which allows partners to be innovative and entrepreneurial. We will sit with the partner to understand the ask and come up with a robust plan and funding to execute.

We have seen successful examples ranging from regional business forums through to larger vertically focused initiatives. Finally, those partners who wish to work in a strategic way we can cleanse their data to our network house files to ensure maximum ROI for the partner and their sales people.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine