CRN Exclusive: CenturyLink Execs Detail New Channel Focus, Plans To Bring Top IT Vendors To Its Telecom Partners

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The new Ascend channel program marks the first time CenturyLink has codified incentives for its partners. How big a change is this?

Hurley: It's a complete change in the management's approach, in CenturyLink's approach to the channel. And now it's a complete change in terms of the program itself. We're turning over every stone.

Corbin: Don't get me wrong. CenturyLink had a good program, and it really did define in the telco space how you engage a channel partner, so it did a good job. It just needed to be dusted off. The program of the past was one size fits all, first in, first out. Ascend is really targeted at investing in those partners that want to invest in us. And if a partner doesn't want to invest to a certain degree then we're going to invest the same way. So all partners are not created equal. Those that are bringing us the big dollars, those are the ones that get the big investments.

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