COLT, a leading European provider of business communications, is celebrating the success of its dedicated SME division. One year after its launch, the division, created to ensure the SME market received products and service of the highest standard, has recruited over 100 new partners, delivered a range of new dedicated SME products and services, and established online tools, systems and accreditations that ensure partners find it as easy to conduct business as possible.
COLT recognised that multinational blue-chip companies are given lead priority by carriers and that SMEs are often offered scaled down versions of the products and services designed for larger organisations. As a result, in early 2008 COLT challenged SMEs to expect more from their suppliers.
“We recognised a gap in the SME market and put a new strategy in place to ensure we were giving this sector the attention it deserved. This market faces specific challenges, quite unlike that of the multi-nationals, and as such we created a dedicated SME division. Once we had a specialist team in place we were able to streamline our offering, make solid investments and update our product portfolio to address the market.” said Rakesh Bhasin, chief executive officer.
As part of its overhaul, COLT made a commitment to extend its distribution by recruiting 50 new European partners in its first year. One year on it has exceeded expectations and recruited over 100 new European partners, creating a greater data and managed services presence to complement its IP voice offering. COLT has also put in place a stringent accreditation process, providing a tiered partner program. Partners have access to the new COLT Community partner programme where they can access training and business tools online and also receive discounts or commissions. In addition, the top performing partners have one-to-one access to COLT’s senior management team and are recognised for their excellence at COLT’s annual European Partner of the Year awards.
In the year since COLT’s dedicated SME division was launched, it has brought to market a range of dedicated SME products, including VoIP Access for Resellers and professional services for SMEs, encompassing network audits through to service management. Each product has been specially designed to fulfil the needs of SMEs, breaking away from the mainstream trend of simply downsizing enterprise offerings. COLT also extended its award winning Ethernet offering, providing affordable, broader coverage in areas without fibre connections – an important development for the SME sector which has often suffered from poor connections or unrealistic, enterprise style price tags for a service of this nature. Partners now have access to a great portfolio of SME products and are better quipped to deal with the individual challenges faced by their customers.
Carl Robertson, director of SME products and marketing said, “The past 12 months have been really successful for COLT SME. Our range of new products and services has made us an attractive supplier, which is why so many new partners have come on board. With a range of new propositions in the pipeline we look forward to extending this success into the months ahead.”