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

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CenturyLink's direct sales team is preparing to resell NetApp's storage hardware and software. Will CenturyLink offer such a capability via its channel partners as well?

Corbin: The NetApp resale agreement is not directed at just the CenturyLink direct or global team. It's across all routes to market within CenturyLink. The globals, the SME, the federal team -- we're now turning out CPE [customer premises equipment]-as-a-service and CPE resale through all of those routes to market. ...

The question was, can the channel part sell it, right? We're going to be piloting in Q2 a CPE re-sale which won't just be NetApp, but will be all the CPE that we have contracts to sell through the channel, so yes. We recognized three, four months ago that it was a deficiency in our channel program that we can't offer to them because most of them don't have the channel partnerships with the major OEMs. We do. So we're going to have a program that we can incent them to sell CPE.

When you say 'CPE' what are you including?

Corbin: The hardware and software that makes everything work.

Hurley: Anything from routing and switching to desktops. Phones, switches, routers, servers, storage, all of that. I think the cloud has re-defined what 'CPE' is because it's everything that's not in the cloud.

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