CenturyLink, one of the top internet providers in the US, is planning to roll out their first tiered channel program. They are also planning to expand the program by offering a wide range of services and products from their strategic vendor partners, who are available to channel partners and need products to meet the requirements of customers, but do not have direct relationships and communications with the product vendors.
The plan of CenturyLink to introduce third-party vendor products to their channel partner community was announced at the CenturyLink Alliance Ascend conference held in San Diego. They had a channel program for many years, but it was just a single tier program and it treated all the partners equally, said John DeLozier, who is the Area Vice President of Channel Alliances at CenturyLink in Lauderdale.
It is reported that the new CenturyLink Ascend Metals channel program has five partner levels. These range from bronze to diamond and are differentiated as per the sales commitment and recurring revenue of the partner. Partners will be able to move up the tier based on their performance and as they move up, they can get improved access to market development funds, marketing assistance and incentives when they bring in more and more new customers.
“We used to have one level,” DeLozier said. “Everybody was treated the same. No distinctions. Going forward, we will never apologize for treating the best partners the best.”
Another improvement to the CenturyLink Ascend Metals program is the availability of various third party products through CenturyLink to their channel partners. CenturyLink offers one of the best internet services in the nation and they currently have partnerships with many of the top IT vendors like Cisco, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware, Juniper, and many others. They have also “traditionally” sold products from these vendors to business clients, said Bill Corbin, who is the senior vice president of partnerships and channel operation in CenturyLink.
It is reported that CenturyLink will bring the vendor products to their channel partners starting in the second quarter of 2017, through the Ascend Metals channel program. This is to bring increased value to the CenturyLink services that are offered by the partners to the users, said Corbin.
Bill Hurley, who is the chief marketing officer of CenturyLink, said that it is a great opportunity for the channel partners of CenturyLink, who do not have any relationships with the vendors.