Don Witt of The Channel Daily News recently sat down with Rob Westervelt, SVP/Channel Chief at GTT America, to revisit the company’s channel growth and progress in the past year.
Since the last time Don and Rob spoke to each other in 2019, the conversation shifted from GTT’s significant indirect channel growth, which has exhibited double-digit revenue growth in prior years, to how GTT is continuing to improve channel effectiveness so it can continue its success.
To start the interview, Rob discussed how the channel has changed in 2019, noting the addition of account managers for partners who help to deliver any support needed. Additionally, he highlighted the deployment of inside sales capabilities to support smaller customers. Both of these changes have helped the channel evolve in 2019 to deliver a fantastic year for GTT both from a sales perspective and from a partner support perspective.
The interview then segued into a discussion about the importance of SD-WAN as a driver of this growth, and Rob commented that GTT’s flagship SD-WAN (Software-Defined Network) offering is seeing a lot of traction and adoption. GTT’s SD-WAN service delivers managed global connectivity, enhanced application performance and control and secure access to cloud-based services and applications.
In regards to how GTT’s SD-WAN offering is different, Rob highlighted that the company’s Tier 1 global IP network, which is among the largest in the industry, is a key differentiator. “Being a Tier-1 ISP where most of the services are going IP… we have lower latency and better performance on SD-WAN. So that gives us a big benefit, along with the 3,500 access agreements that we have today. We can give a customer both circuits into the SD-WAN box with diversity, whether that’s carrier diversity or network diversity or PoP (Point of Presence) diversity.” Rob also pointed out the company’s unique network-based SD-WAN capabilities, stating, “as we expand and as we add in new customers, we’re opening up new SD-WAN gateways, so we’re actually adding our own gateways.”
When asked about the future, Rob pointed out that the large SD-WAN opportunities GTT has realized through the indirect channel are indicators of where the overall market is trending — since the indirect channel is often ahead of the rest of the market.
The company is also looking to add new sub agents to the channel, as well as automated pricing. While supporting master agents, GTT’s value proposition comes down to working more on the sub agent level and building those partnerships.
Rob indicated that when GTT gets in front of a customer with the right resources, whether its sales engineering or NOC support, their win rate runs at around 65 to 75 percent. That all comes down to capitalizing on the value that GTT’s agent partners bring to the client solution and enabling synergies between all parties.
As GTT continues its focus on organic revenue growth, the indirect channel’s track record of generating double-digit revenue growth will be a key contributor toward the achievement of this business objective.
The conversation also touched on GTT’s recent win with Captivate, a digital media company. The four-year contract delivers improved, secure, real-time video transmission for Captivate, for which GTT’s managed SD-WAN service improves network security, increases network uptime and delivers real-time video content to nearly 1,700 premier locations across North America. Rob noted, “one of the big reasons that we won [the contract] was that GTT has its own footprint where we have our own trucks and our own badge employees. When we overlaid the network that Captivate had to our capabilities, over 90 percent of those sites fell within our footprint. Being that our folks do these buildings, it definitely gave us a leg up.”
To listen to the conversation in its entirety, please click here.