Cable & Wireless' (C&W's) plans to offer small to medium sized enterprise market application service provider (ASP) solutions to the UK after launching a similar scheme in the US.
Last week, the company announced the launch of its A-services Limited programme, a collaboration with Microsoft and Compaq. C&W hopes to host application services on its data centre, which clients can access through Compaq's iPaq thin client hardware.
Michael Rothey, C&W's channel sales development director, said the worldwide partnership has been running successfully in the US, and would have the same logic in the UK.
"From the reseller perspective it's very lucrative too," he claimed. "Resellers can get 15 per cent of the ongoing turnover from selling an ASP contract. That can be worth up to £250,000 in some cases."
Rothey outlined four partnership categories - referral partners, authorised sellers, accredited delivery partners and A-Solutions providers - who would be fed leads generated by C&W's telemarketing team.
The company is to launch a series of recruitment road shows to build on its channel of 50 resellers and consultants, most of whom were recruited from Microsoft's and Compaq's channels.
But the policy has been criticised by some rivals in the managed services market. "Commission is nice, but what happens when the contract is renewed? The reseller is cut out of the loop," said Duncan Crook, managing director of Equinox, which runs a service provision business.
"The resellers could be selling their customer base. It's significant that C&W isn't using its telecoms dealers to set up these arrangements," he added.
But Rothey rejected the idea. "The margins are good," he said. "Do resellers want to pass them up? Either way, ASPs could put them out of business anyway, so why pass up the revenue streams?"
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