BT Indirect Channels (BTIC) and BT Local Business will be consolidated into a single 'partner management business' within BT Business in a move that could cloud the telecom giants channel borders.
BT has claimed that no jobs will be lost and workers will be reallocated to other areas of the firm. The business, as yet unnamed, will come into operation in October and will be be headed by BT Local Business chief Mark Cornell
BT Local Business is a number of independent licensed firms who look after the SME market for BT, similar to an outsourced franchise.
Jon Lane, director of BTIC, said: "We wanted to centralise our functions and combine the best of our indirect and local partners into central management."
Lane stated that BT’s SME market will be 60 per cent for local business with 40 per cent for resellers, but he insisted that resellers will not be affected by the move.
"Resellers will still work with the same people and will see no difference. The only difference will be in back office where we will have the ability to give more support through partners and more resources to assist them," Lane claimed.
John Carter, managing director at BT distributor DMSL, said: "We think BT's focus is still on the channel and we hope it improves our business. We have not lost anything and we have plenty to gain."
Carter added that the views of the channel could now be directed at the main body of BT, rather than having to communication through layers.
However, Gary Duke, sales director at LAN 2 LAN said that some resellers will be concerned to see how the consolidation pans out.
"There will be a loss of identity as the business goes back into BTand resellers will act with an element of nervousness. However, sometimes these things benefit resellers, so we will have to wait and see," he said.
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