The man behind noughties BT distributor 3P has bounced back into the channel with a new outfit that matchmakes vendors and resellers.
Les Barwick has founded Channel Partners Connect, which aims to recruit VARs on behalf of vendors in the comms, IT and smart technology sectors.
Barwick (pictured) semi-retired in 2011 after BT took in-house the 800-strong network of Associate BT resellers which 3P ran. At its peak, 3P was delivering £120m of revenue for BT annually, he said.
Since forming earlier this year, Channel Partners Connect has amassed six vendor clients, mainly in the broadband and quadruple-play services space, Barwick said, adding that the goal now is to expand that client base.
"Some companies I've talked to have their own partner management teams so see this as an additional cost, but we are not out to replace those teams," he said. "We can give them a different dimension because I'm phoning up as Channel Partners Connect on behalf of the client and it's a much softer sell."
Channel Partners Connect will typically put a handful of prospective partners in front of its clients, who decide which they want to partner with, Barwick said.
"We have a good understanding of the marketplace and are looking to recruit exactly the kind of people we were working with [at 3P]," he said.
"We are trying to expand the resellers' business and portfolio, while at the same time building the client's channel network."
3P operated in the market for 12 years before BT moved in and began managing that part of its business directly, Barwick said.
"I wouldn't want to say too much about the BT relationship, as we didn't leave on the best of terms," he said. "But it was a model that worked; if it didn't work, they wouldn't have taken it back in-house. It was a very cost-effective way of recruiting channel partners."
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