Learn about the latest WAN products via our workshop. In this article, we’ll explain how buying BT Managed WAN directly from BT via our Indirect Sales team (the Partner Channel) offers some unique benefits. At a high level, the choice is to decide whether your business would be better suited to a BT account manager or one of our sales team at Network Union. View our sales process here.
As one of approximately 30 BT Partners across the UK & NI, Network Union is recognised for our expertise across managed services. As of writing this article, our team have assisted multiple organisations to buy connectivity whether the requirement is a smaller 2 or 3 site solution or spans hundreds of global sites. We are regular visitors to the BT Northern Ireland NOC (Network Operation Centre) and BT Centre near St Pauls, London. In conjunction with our BT employed resources, we learn the very latest product capability from vendors such as Cisco and Checkpoint together with hybrid network architecture best practices including MPLS, VPLS and SD WAN.
What are the basics of buying Managed WAN from the BT Partner Channel?
We’ve been successfully working with BT prospects and clients under our Authorised BT Partnership for over five years. In fact, we’re one of a select few Premier Partners, an accolade which had the benefit of additional resource in the form of a dedicated escalation team employed by BT. At a high level, we operate as a sales agency with technical and sales expertise surrounding the BT Managed product set. We have access to UK and Global services for the smallest three-site network to hundreds of sites as with our current biggest channel WAN retail customer. The Partner Channel at BT consists of a niche set of resources specifically assigned to partners (not wider BT) which include Data Specialists (i.e. SD WAN, MPLS and VPLS specialists).
The specialists all work for BT but they only support a select few channel business partners. In a sense, the channel offers a boutique business feel within what is a massive Global Enterprise telco business. You would be forgiven for thinking BT channel sales only work within the SME business sector but they’re actually very capable across large Global Enterprise Managed WAN services from MPLS and VPLS to SD WAN and managed LAN services.
We are different to the typical channel sales Reseller model as, by default, we do not own your contract or support agreements but we do provide focussed, technical account management and advice throughout your contract. We earn our revenue under our BT Partner Sales contract so there are no hidden costs or added margins.
A common misconception often made about Partner Sales is that there is limited involvement from BT - this couldn’t be further from the truth. The team surrounding Partners consists of expertise from our account manager (that is, our BT resource looking after the Network Union Partner account), Sales Specialist (essentially presales), Service and Escalation (the team based in Seven Oaks) and a multitude of Technical Design Authority resources, Project Management and so forth. In addition to our own team, these resources only support Partners and are employed by BT Business.
- The BT Partner Manager - Directly employed by BT, the PM co-ordinates every aspect of the BT relationship.
- The BT Sales Specialist - Responsibility to technically price your managed services solution in conjunction with the TDA and pricing teams.
- TDA (Technical Design Authority) - The TDA resource is responsible for the overall architecture.
- Project Management - Project Managers work not only on the initial implementation but also change management throughout the contract.
- Tools team - Reporting from LAN to WAN with per application and host is available from the tools department.
- Security team - A critical and key component of all WAN services is how your managed WAN will be secured from DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) through to intrusion detection and granular traffic policies.
Is there a difference from a pricing and contract perspective?
As all contracts are placed with BT directly, it makes sense that the actual solution pricing is provided by the BT Sales Specialist. This isn’t to say we’re not involved, quite the opposite as our team will work hard to ensure the best possible costs are achieved.
All Managed WAN pricing is obtained directly via the BT team, they work together to establish the overall design which results in the end price. The final cost depends on the required features including Security, Cloud, LAN and the level of support and reporting.
Do we add margin? No, our revenue is made under our own Business Partner contract with BT. All pricing is based on their direct cost base. In the first instance, we use a step-by-step process to ensure your business requirements are mapped to the right solution. The overall workflows are designed to consider every aspect from application flow (think latency and jitter) to reporting and budget. The use of our process ensures end pricing is accurate. Within BT, special pricing allows circuit commercials to be reduced where possible.
A link to the BT Managed WAN product page.