BT (British Telecom) is one of the most recognised UK brands. The company exemplifies what it means to continuously grow and evolve technology products across 100+ years of change, evolution and innovation. And while there are startups and numerous other successful telecom companies, partnering with BT will enable your business to leverage a peerless brand within the UK market.
Almost all UK companies require telephony (cloud voice services), Broadband and mobile regardless of economic conditions - businesses need these products to operate. When considering an additional revenue stream, marketing departments will typically analyse the overall market opportunity to understand how difficult gaining share and penetration might be vs their capability to gain customers.
When reviewing why most applicants consider joining BT, we find the number 1 answer is always based around leveraging an existing recognisable brand to help accelerate growth.
How to become a BT Partner, what do you need to know?
Joining as a full Partner requires meeting the selection criteria mentioned at the beginning of this article - the business opportunity is quite significant for those companies capable of joining the programme. You’ll be assigned an experienced Partner Manager and Sales Specialist to help you gain knowledge and the expertise required to close sales. With territory encompassing the UK and Northern Ireland, your business will work with the BT brand to meet targets across the portfolio.
All BT Partners and Resellers are offered a unique ID (set by BT) to track sales and commissions with an online portal to place orders. The portal also provides branding, guidelines and product training which is made available to your team with updates as required. The BT Partner (and their Reseller programme) also differ when compared with a Wholesale relationship regarding customer contracts, billing and support.
BT Wholesale is designed as a white-label product set, whereas the Partner and Reseller channel enable up-front commissions via agency-based sales. If your business is looking for the most straightforward option, becoming a Partner or Reseller is the better choice.
It is important to remember that if you are considering the white label wholesale option, there is a commitment required in terms of volume across the BT Broadband and Voice (Cloud Voice) product set and the need to build your dedicated support and billing platforms.
Lastly, becoming a BT Local Business (BTLB) is an opportunity to purchase a franchise across UK and Northern Ireland. If your business is interested in the LB option, you will be required to demonstrate a solid business plan with good capital reserves. The territories are of course dependent on availability - there may not be an opportunity to buy within your local area.
As of writing this article in late 2022, approximately 30 Authorised Partners (BT Business and EE) are selling across the UK and Northern Ireland. In contrast, many more Resellers and Wholesale partners operate within their respective channels.
The table below details the differences: BT Partner vs BT Reseller
||BT Local Business
|How do you qualify?
||BT require a good turnover, solid route to market and the capability to hit targets.
||No targets or turnover requirements as your contract is with an existing BT Partner.
||White-label services, you will need to order significant volumes to gain a good buy price.
||Buy a franchise across the UK. You'll require a solid business plan and approximately £300K working capital.
The Partner alternative - how to become a BT Reseller?
As discussed, applying to become a Reseller requires selecting an existing Partner or Distributor. Applications are currently available via the Netify BT Reseller page - search 'Netify BT Reseller' for the latest details or use the link at the top of this page. Please be sure to include detail about your business and products of interest.
Which BT products are available?
- BT Business Broadband - FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) and FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) ISP services.
- BT Cloud Voice - Fully featured IP telephony product including 3 licence types: Basic, Connect and Collaborate. Customers are able to choose from web conferencing and instant messaging through to full receptionist console capability.
- BT Cloud Voice Express - Replacement for simple PSTN (phone line) requirements enabling customers to remove their landline (SOGEA) and migrate to a digital service with mobile app support.
- BTnet Leased Lines - An alternative for Broadband where there is a requirement for better Internet connectivity uptime, dedicated bandwidth and symmetrical upload speeds. (Access typically requires town or city location)
- EE Mobile - Sell SIM only and handset deals across 24 and 36-month contracts.
- Managed Services - SD WAN and MPLS data services with Cisco edge devices for more complex solutions.
The BT Partner and Reseller channel is there to help businesses sell Broadband and Voice, become an ISP or even sell complex managed services. Whether or not BT is a good fit for your business depends on your strategy - I.e. is your business intent on owning the customer contract are you content with receiving commissions for making the sale as an agent.
As mentioned earlier, significant resources are required to white-label, which is why the Partner and Reseller partnership provides an alternative option.
The Partner Channel has changed over the last decade - the most significant change has been the acquisition of EE (Everything Everywhere). As of writing this article, partners and resellers are split across their expertise with some holding extensive mobile experience and others with expertise within the BT Business product portfolio. If you become a Reseller, you will receive support across BT Business and EE Mobile, enabling sales from each product portfolio.
WIth only a small amount of applications receiving authorised status, the majority of companies reading this article will typically become resellers with an existing partner/distributor such as Netify. If you would like to discuss options in more detail, leave a comment on this post or get in touch via our Reseller page.