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Channel Partners: the Secret Sauce to Customer Business Success

There’s a misperception I hear occasionally from some end-user organizations when forging new relationships with CenturyLink’s technology solutions and service partners: they view channel partners as unnecessary middlemen. Some customers believe that involving a channel partner, rather than purchasing technology from a vendor directly, may slow down processes, provide less value and cost them more money without much upside.This could not be further from the truth. In fact, partners like you are one of CenturyLink’s most important and most valuable assets.

Channel partner skeptics may believe that direct access to a technology provider will result in better service and more value for their money. As the head of the CenturyLink Channel Alliance, I can assure them there are numerous cases when engaging a channel partner is the best route – not only for their business, but for their bottom line.

team.jpgThe Channel Alliance has hundreds of partners ascending within its CenturyLink Ascend Medals Program, with TBI in the top Diamond tier as one of our largest, most important and most successful partners. TBI, with its community of agents like you, has reached Diamond status because you deliver immense value and expertise to end-user organizations. You provide deep knowledge to customize products that best suit your customers’ needs. Many of you go beyond subject matter expertise and wear many hats. You are geniuses at expense management, finding ways to save your clients tons of money over time. In addition to providing technology consulting expertise and services, you often offer long-term strategic planning based on business outcomes, and you are steeped in a deep understanding of technology trends that help set customers up for success down the road. Even if consulting costs money up front, the long-term value you provide is undeniable.

Our partners are focused on customers every single day, showering them with attention and constantly adding value. We frequently receive feedback on the savings customers have realized as the result of expense management services from partners like you – such as monitoring costs monthly, and looking for cost-savings and alternative routes that support more efficient business processes. From a consulting perspective, you provide guidance around efficient cloud solutions, managed services, and ways the end-user can communicate more effectively. Your guidance enables customers to make smart, strategic decisions about the best technologies to carry them into the future.

The value that partners bring to the table is incredible – whether customers want help with digital transformation, moving to the cloud, security solutions or something else. It’s those big shifts in the way the customer runs its business that will deliver long-term value.

The focus and commitment CenturyLink has on the indirect channel and partner community is greater than it’s ever been. From Senior Executive support to the amount of staff and resources dedicated to our channel program, CenturyLink’s major investment in you is reflective of your current and future contributions to our mutual growth. You are a vital part of our team and everything we do is focused on enabling you to be successful and grow your business with CenturyLink.

If one of your prospective customers is hesitant to have a conversation with you as a channel partner, remind them that you can help discover untapped value, savings, benefits and opportunities that they might not have considered before. As the trusted partner, you could be a critical tool – the “secret sauce” – to their business’s health, viability and success over the long haul.

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About the Author
John DeLozier is a key member of Strategic Partnerships and Channel Operations Leadership Team as Vice President, Channel Alliance (“Channel Chief”). A well-respected presence in the channel space, John brings more than 20 years of experience in channel and partner development to the company. John leads CenturyLink’s business and technology partner program. This includes overseeing the development and execution of strategic sales and partner plans and defining new go-to with third-party partners such as system integrators, managed services providers and software companies.