INSIGHT

Four things to look for in a
wholesale connectivity partner

By Diego Tedesco, Commercial and Marketing Director (Wholesale), Virgin Media Business

Trusted technology partners have never been more important.

But research suggests channel partners are struggling to find the right wholesale connectivity providers.

65% of UK resellers and distributors wished their relationships were stronger, according to a recent Kaspersky report. And 69% are unhappy with the level of service they’re currently receiving.

This is especially worrying when you consider recent research by Deloitte that found strong partnerships are vital to the Covid-19 rebound. Only by working together can organisations respond to the new needs created by the pandemic.

So how do channel businesses choose the right partner? What qualities do they need to look for to help them capitalise on market opportunities and get end customers back on their feet?

1. An immersive partner journey

47% of resellers believe the level of customer service is the most important consideration when deciding which vendor to work with, according to the same Kaspersky report.

They’re spot on.

As suppliers to end customers themselves, channel businesses appreciate the deep understanding and tailored services of their partners.

The same principle applies to selecting a wholesale connectivity provider.

It isn’t just about considering which has the deepest and most diverse experience of various businesses, organisations and customers. It’s also a question of working with providers that genuinely care about their partners, constantly striving to deliver a personalised, open service.

65% of channel resellers Kaspersky surveyed said they find building relationships with wholesalers difficult. This is often because some wholesale connectivity organisations see relationships with partners as purely transactional.

This attitude isn’t going to give the channel what it needs. Those businesses need to avoid partners more interested in getting commercial value from the relationship than collaborating over the long term.

The best providers don’t settle for second best when it comes to serving their customers throughout onboarding, build and engagement. They’re constantly speaking to them, listening and learning, challenging themselves to do better.

A valued partner would encourage methods such as partner advisory boards, attended by dedicated and accessible senior leadership teams. These facilitate open and honest feedback from channel partners. A good wholesale provider will not brush any issues that come up under the carpet. They will act upon them.

70% of resellers and distributors also want more personal contact with their account manager, Kaspersky reported.

The best wholesale connectivity providers recognise this. They provide dedicated client service teams at every step of a channel partner’s journey, offering regular updates, routine advice and strategic consultancy.

By working with these providers, the channel will benefit from the very best advice on the solutions that matter to their end customers.

This will ultimately lead to a healthier connectivity ecosystem. One in which channel partners feel empowered to capitalise on the opportunities a post-Covid-19 world will bring. And one in which networks will be more important than ever.

2. Agility and constant innovation

Covid-19 has disrupted the business landscape, creating new challenges and demands around network flexibility, agility and security. Only the most advanced connectivity solutions will meet emerging and complex business challenges.

Channel partners need to offer their end customers services that are bespoke to their specific needs, both today and as they evolve.

It’s vital to look at the scale wholesale connectivity providers offer, as well as their expertise on implementing new technologies. They need to have access to a truly national network and extensive experience in delivering complex connectivity services.

This means they will be well-positioned to offer the fundamental connectivity technologies that large corporates and public sector organisations need today.

High capacity services and dark fibre are two examples of solutions that will provide end-customers with lightning-fast speeds at low latency, greater scalability and added security.

But they can only be delivered successfully by drawing on the expertise of the right provider.

Established players are better suited to provide these services in particular due to their extensive network capabilities, commitment to innovation in their network and ability to offer solutions on a truly national scale.

3. Safety and security

PwC has reiterated the importance of safety and accessibility for consumers, highlighting a 91% increase in enterprises reporting cyber-attacks since the pandemic struck.

Channel partners don’t just need their information to be held securely by their wholesale provider. They also need to offer solutions to their end customers that give them peace of mind.

This is because connectivity technologies that are fundamentally insecure can completely derail a business. C-suite leaders simply can’t afford this in the current climate. It wouldn’t just damage the end customer. It would lead to trust in the channel reseller being undermined.

Experienced wholesale providers offer a safe and reliable pair of hands. The importance of this should never be underestimated, particularly when it comes to the security, efficiency and dependability of network solutions.

This is why experienced wholesale partners ultimately offer more value to the channel and end customers – not just offering solutions that will drive growth, but ones that will boost the resilience of an organisation.

4. Experience

Strong technology partnerships and industry collaboration are vital to overcoming the challenges the pandemic has created.

With organisations switching to remote working and rapidly shifting to the cloud, there is a huge opportunity for the channel to make the case for superfast, flexible and agile connectivity that will drive the economic rebound.

But this can only be achieved through knowledge-sharing and collaboration. The more experienced players tend to be best placed to offer this due to their advantages in scale and their many years of helping channel partners address complex connectivity challenges.

With Covid-19 expected to have long-term consequences for businesses, the value of experience, commitment and innovation cannot be underestimated.

Channel partners must consider the four qualities covered in this article when choosing their wholesale connectivity provider.

 
 

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