Chess Telecom's recently announced seven-figure deal to buy its wholesale minutes as a fully managed package from BT has given the UK's largest carrier even more sway in the voice channel.
ChannelWeb caught up with BT Wholesale director Colin Annette (pictured) to discuss the significance of the deal.
ChannelWeb: What does this agreement mean for BT?
Colin Annette: I think this is one of our largest deals of the past 12 months. We have not had a strong position with Chess - we have been a supplier, but a small one. This is a huge step forward. A significant proportion of its spend is now with BT, which puts us in a strong position with one of the channel's leading players.
How can you build on this partnership?
Over the past couple of years, BT has had a lot of success and a lot of growth in the minutes market. But ultimately, what we are doing there is taking market share in a saturated and just-starting-to-decline market. The future is all about growth in other product areas, the products that will underpin the shift to cloud computing. That is where Chess sees its future.
What is BT's standing with other SMB providers, such as Daisy, GCI Com and Bluebell?
All of that [minutes] growth in the past couple of years has been in that market. There are now only two large voice resellers that do not have a substantial part of their spend with us. And the market is now in such a state that it is difficult to get that incremental business.
What does BT offer these providers to differentiate itself from Virgin and TalkTalk?
We bring the BT Network, which is a safe sell for our customers. They are able to play on the benefits of that, and its security and resiliences. The product is easy to use from a reseller perspective. We may not always be the cheapest, but we are very competitive on pricing.
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