Cable & Wireless Catches a ChannelWave

Telecomm giant opts for latest version of partner-relationship management suite

Cambridge, MA  November 13, 2001  Cable & Wireless has tapped software provider ChannelWave to provide a Web-based platform for the telecommunications giant's worldwide partnering initiative, which is providing enhanced sales tools, training and marketing programs to help channel partners sell its Internet and data solutions to businesses.

Cable & Wireless will use the latest, 5.0 version of ChannelWave's partner-relationship management (PRM) software, which the solution provider rolled out today.

Companies that use indirect selling partners  such as value-added resellers or distributors  to sell their products to their end customers use PRM to manage their channel partners, traditionally through phone, fax, e-mail and face-to-face meetings. PRM activities include everything from training and certification to recruitment and lead management.

"These activities typically happen in stovepipes within our companies and customers," said ChannelWave's vice president of marketing, Drew Williams. "Underneath recruiting, for instance, where they're out to find the best partners to resell their products, they may well have a pile of paper acting as a database. Underneath training, it may be an Excel database, and underneath lead management or sales, it could be an Oracle database. And these databases typically don't talk to one another, and the personnel involved in managing them often don't talk with one another."

The idea behind ChannelWave 5.0, according to Williams, is to provide a single, uniform platform within an enterprise to manage all the information and interactions involved in PRM. ChannelWave says that its 5.0 suite extends the capabilities of traditional PRM software to support the entire lifecycle of pre-sales, sales and post-sales activities through a suite of Web-based applications.

The application suite includes several components, including Partner, Market, Sell and Service solutions. ChannelWave says that Partner provides companies with the collaborative recruiting, planning and management resources required to achieve channel sales goals while also strengthening relationship with channel partners.

Market provides a platform for communications, campaign planning and lead generation, and Sell streamlines partner orders and transactions and helps companies improve opportunity forecasting and management.

Service provides access to online training, self-service support and maintenance resources as a way to improve customer post-sales support and to reduce call center expenses.

The suite is based on the Java programming language, which, the solution providers said, allows for rapid deployment and easier integration with other enterprise applications.

"Cable & Wireless selected ChannelWave as the best PRM solution to help us achieve our channel objectives," said Joel Moss, senior vice president, Business Markets, Cable & Wireless. "In addition to providing a comprehensive range of partnering solutions to support our worldwide sales efforts, ChannelWave understands and delivers the functionality needed to support both enterprises and their channel partners."

Other organizations that are using ChannelWave include Qwest, Motorola, Hewlett-Packard, AT&T and Toshiba.

Sheryl Kingstone, a program manager at the Yankee Group, a consultancy, said that ChannelWave 5.0 provides a unified platform and new commerce and service capabilities for supporting the entire demand chain lifecycle, from relationship building through sales transactions and service, a requirement in the current market. "Because market pressures have elevated collaboration and partnering to a strategic level for organizations, enterprise software solutions such as ChannelWave 5.0 should be embraced for their ability to reduce costs and increase channel effectiveness across an extended enterprise," Kingstone asserted.

Chris Heidelberger, president and CEO of ChannelWave, highlighted the new suite's online orientation. "The software business model is undergoing a fundamental shift," he said. "Customers are demanding Web-based applications that provide rapid deployment, seamless integration and the specific functionality they need to achieve faster ROI and a lower cost of ownership."

ChannelWave 5.0, available immediately, can be deployed by organizations onsite or through one of ChannelWave's hosting partners. The software can be licensed either on a subscription or perpetual basis.