Colt announces new franchise partner channel to extend its Smart Office portfolio into Europe for SME customers

First franchise partners appointed in France ahead of wider rollout across Europe

London, 19 April, 2012

Colt, Europe’s leading information delivery platform, today announced it has appointed its first franchise partners in a move that will both widen the distribution of its integrated network and IT services in Europe and expand its network of channel partners. The first franchise partners are already in place in France ahead of the wider rollout of Colt’s franchise partner channel across Europe. Through its franchise partners, Colt will offer a comprehensive range of flexible networking and compute options, designed to meet the specific needs of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

The new franchise partners will have full autonomy to offer Colt’s Smart Office* portfolio of  integrated network, compute and communications services under the Colt brand. Franchise partners will exclusively provide Colt services in conjunction with their own complimentary offerings, allowing them to create a profitable new revenue stream through a range of co-branded solutions and services specifically for their SME end-user customers. These customers will benefit from the expertise and experience of both Colt and its franchise partners, with franchise partners maintaining the direct relationship with their end-user customers, including all customer relationship management and billing. This represents a new direction for Colt’s channel programme, with the introduction of franchise partners exclusively selling Colt-branded solutions for the first time. Until now, Colt has sold its branded services and solutions primarily through specialist agents. However, the introduction of franchise partners will extend the Colt brand across a wider network of value added resellers (VARs). Colt will also be able to draw upon the close customer relationships and expertise and experience of its franchise partners in their local market to reach a broader range of SME end-user customers with its branded services. 

“With the appointment of our first franchise partners, we continue to expand our integrated network and IT services strategy for the channel and extend the success of our European partner programme. This new approach will allow us to tap into the agility, entrepreneurial spirit and local expertise of our franchise partners,” said Francois Eloy, EVP Colt Communication Services. “In the last year, we have seen significantly increased demand for a range of IT managed services from our SME customers, supported by robust voice and data connectivity. By offering our franchise partners the opportunity to sell these solutions under the Colt brand, it will accelerate the reach of our services in the SME market, building on our 20-year heritage in delivering integrated networking and compute services to European businesses of all sizes.”

The initial markets in which Colt will be recruiting franchise partners are the UK, France, Italy, Spain and Germany, with the programme due to roll out across the rest of Europe through 2012 and 2013. Colt is targeting a number of specialist VARs to join its franchise partner programme and plans to recruit between three and five new partners in each of its key European markets.

Colt will work closely with its franchise partners to deliver a comprehensive ongoing programme of training, resources and support around new products and market trends. This includes comprehensive marketing and brand support, as well as web design guidance.  In addition, the new partners will benefit from access to Colt’s powerful information delivery platform, combining network and IT infrastructure with expertise in IT managed services, networking and communication solutions to help grow revenues.
-Ends-

*Notes to Editors:

Colt Smart Office
Colt Smart Office is designed to answer the ICT needs of businesses with up to 250 employees. It consists of a catalogue of integrated network, compute and communications services that can be sold individually or as a solution and is complimentary to the portfolio offered by Colt’s franchise partners.

About Colt
Colt is the information delivery platform for Europe, enabling its customers to deliver, share, and process and store their vital business information. An established leader in delivering integrated computing and network services to major organisations, midsized businesses and wholesale customers, Colt operates a 21-country, 35,000km network that includes metropolitan area networks in 39 major European cities with direct fibre connections into 18,000 buildings and 19 Colt data centres.

In 2010, the Colt Data Centre Services business was launched to deliver innovative high quality modular data centres which are rapid to deploy and power efficient.

Colt is listed on the London Stock Exchange (COLT). Information about Colt and its services can be found at www.colt.net.

 

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