Success in any business is rarely a solo effort. Particularly within the telecommunications industry, a support system – spanning sales, marketing, solutions, product development, service and delivery – is critical for long-term growth.
While Telstra has a great internal team, equally important to our success and growth is the channel, a trusted and integral community that companies in almost every industry have relied on for decades. Every day, we work closely with our channel partners to identify business opportunities in new markets, help transform network solutions for key customers and provide regional support for global marketing campaigns, among other initiatives.
The channel’s role has expanded and evolved to keep pace with changing market dynamics. In current business environments where speed, agility and response times are invaluable, the channel now also includes influencers, advocates, ambassadors, digital agencies and a diverse range of strategic alliances, according to recent reports from Forrester Research. Brands need to continually re-earn a customer’s trust and partners can play a key role in driving adoption, enhancing the customer experience and helping to generate new revenue.
In fact, a more appropriate description of the channel, and one you’re likely to hear often, is “partner ecosystem.” There’s still a focus on traditional sales and marketing, of course. But, the channel’s role now also must encompass brand awareness, education and community involvement.
Business leaders are clearly optimistic that indirect sales and marketing programs will gain momentum in 2021. According to the first annual Channel/Partner Marketing Benchmark Survey conducted by Demand Gen Report and Channel Marketer Report, more than 90 percent of company executives and channel leaders expect revenue increases directly attributed to partner ecosystems in 2021.
Continually renewing our commitment to the channel
These larger trends are super relevant for Telstra as well. We work with a vast network of channel partners with regional market knowledge and specific expertise to fully support customers’ needs. As part of our growth ambitions in the Americas, we continue to invest further in our partner ecosystem, highlighting just how important our partners are to our business.
Telstra has revamped its Americas partnerships team to put the right resources in the right places. The most recent example is our addition of Mikoto Anzai to lead key partner relationships in the U.S. and Canada. Mikoto brings an extensive track record to this newly created role and we are confident that both Telstra and our entire partner ecosystem will benefit from her experience in business development, channel management, strategy direction, portfolio positioning, targeted marketing events and branding. Mikoto will focus on our engagement with key master agents, alongside an experienced and trusted channel sales team that includes Donna Turner, Sharon Andrus and Scott Elliott who lead our relationships with partners all across North America.
As businesses pursue global growth, a deliberate focus on expansion into Asia-Pacific allows access to new markets with a growing middle class eager for new products and services, as well as new customers that drive revenue growth in those markets. Telstra partners can uniquely benefit by having one-stop access to the powerful combination of our extensive network of subsea cables connecting North America to the Asia-Pacific region and on-the-ground teams with local knowledge.
We often say “connectivity drives growth and unlocks possibilities,” and Telstra is well-equipped to support our partners and customers growth ambitions through our leading network infrastructure products, services and technologies – global internet, IP transit, satellite services, SD-WAN, virtual private networks, Ethernet private lines, co-location, cloud infrastructure, media networks for broadcasters, global CPE and more.
How we make it easy for our partners
Telstra channel partners continue to play a key role in helping grow our business, and the same can be said for us helping them.
For example, for the past two years we’ve been working with TelEnergy Advisors, a partner that advises enterprise IT departments on the procurement and deployment of technology and energy solutions. Throughout our engagement, we’ve provided everything from point-to-point private lines to customer premise equipment management to truly global network infrastructure spanning several different services for some of their customers, including large manufacturers, and video game / gaming and financial services companies.
We’ve made our partnership easy by working closely together – both with TelEnergy and the end customer – every step of the way, and by being responsive to all stakeholder needs. Speaking of steps, TelEnergy uses a 10-step process for success management, and we have delivered at every point. But, don’t take my word for it, here’s what they had to say:
“We pride ourselves on making technology procurement and deployment simple, easy and successful for enterprise IT departments,” said TelEnergy Managing Director Steve Wille. “For the last two years, Telstra has been invaluable in helping us deliver on that commitment. Telstra consistently gets high marks for its global network infrastructure solutions, managed services for customer premise equipment, and the team’s responsiveness to our and our customers’ needs. We deploy a unique and rigorous 10-point process to ensure success for our customers to save them time and reduce risk. Telstra passed the initial test and continues to pass with flying colors. We look forward to seeing where our partnership takes us in the future.”
How can potential new channel partners get involved?
Yes, the channel is changing. The good news is within this broadened ecosystem, there’s plenty of room, and opportunity, for everyone. In 2021 and beyond, we’re focusing on several areas that hold exciting potential for the channel and re-emphasize our commitment to partners.
- We’re helping customers re-think and transform their network infrastructure through our adaptive networks portfolio of both underlay and overlay networks, including managed SD-WAN services and cloud security.
- We’re continuing to invest in our subsea and terrestrial networks that enable the world’s largest technology companies to build production networks and deliver content to the world.
- We continue to invest in our Telstra Octagon network – our purpose-built low-latency network for capital markets and financial technology customers.
- We continue to expand geographically, recently building into Canada to support Canadian companies to access the world.
- We are strengthening our broadcast business with new capabilities for bringing live content from North America and delivering it globally to broadcasters and rights-holders.
- We continue to deepen our alliances with partners like Cisco and Equinix, to offer CPE and colocation services to partners and customers around the world.
- And, don’t forget our most valuable asset to partners and customers – our people. Alongside our Americas team are team members all around the world, and all across Asia-Pacific.
How can your channel company or agents get in on this kind of action? Telstra currently works with a worldwide network of more than 40 regional partners and solutions providers with specific expertise in IT-centric system deployments and management.
Our Partner Program helps agents gain competitive advantages for themselves and their customers through ongoing training, sales incentives, marketing programs and access to new sales leads and pipeline opportunities. It’s our way of providing customers with end-to-end solutions by partnering with experts in consulting, sales, technical and managed services.
While the future of work is still in many ways uncertain, one constant is Telstra’s ongoing commitment to its partner ecosystem. We support transforming an enterprise by using all our resources. It’s one more reason why Telstra is a powerful resource to keep in your tool kit.