The Rotten Apple in the Channel

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
Peter
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

The Rotten Apple in the Channel

In its latest financial filing AT&T claims that they sold 6.9M iPhones and added 1M new cellular customers in the quarter due to the iPhone 3G. (Apple says that 39% of quarterly revenues were due to pushing out 200M iPhones so far.)  Here's the funny part: Agents can't sell the iPhone. Agents can sell Blackberries and other phones but not the iPhone.

Once again AT&T spends money to create a "Solution Provider" Alliance Channel that demonstrates preferences to AT&T sales employees over its Channel agents. On its Alliance website, AT&T writes "Targeted customer sets to minimize channel conflicts" That's some messaging there.

Speaking to the Channel Champions, more than one is worried about what the new year will bring. One never knows what the RBOC Channel will look like year to year.

Not being able to sell the hottest phone to business execs is just one example of how the direct side is treated preferentially over the Indirect Channel. Another is on pricing. Last week, I received a phone call from AT&T about my posting pricing to my client blog. They wanted it removed immediately. Well, I am a sub-agent of a Solutions Provider; I am not direct. (Been there done that; have the scars to prove it). But the pricing did not come from an AT&T website. The pricing came from one of my customers who got it from his account exec. At that point, it's public domain. Just another example of AT&T and its control issues.

AT&T is a wireless company. If that was really true, agents would be able to sell all of its wireless products.


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