Colt signs SAS as first UK franchise partner

Man signing a contract

Colt has signed its first UK franchise agreement with managed network and professional services provider SAS Global Communications (SAS).

The agreement enables SAS to move into the cloud services market, offering Colt Ceano’s portfolio of cloud-based services alongside its existing offerings, which includes professional services, network monitoring, and predictive helpdesk services.

The move forms a key part of SAS’ business strategy for the next three years, according to Charles Davis, CEO for SAS Global Communications.

He explains: “One of our goals is to develop new and distinct channels to market that will both complement existing partner relationships and enhance SAS’s overall value proposition for customers. By adding the Colt portfolio to our own, we increase the quality and diversity of managed services we are able to deliver to our customers.

“This builds on our strategy to move into the cloud services market and our recent acquisition of the software development company Trigger means that we have the skills and capability to take Colt Ceano to market.”

Colt launched Ceano in April to provide a suite of network, communications and cloud-based IT services to channel partners and currently has around 180 VARs. It has grown from Colt’s acquisition of ThinkGrid in 2012, which it bought to strengthen its channel-led cloud offering.

The firm has four indirect channels to market; agent, franchise, distributor and wholesale, which includes carriers, service providers, VARs and voice resellers. It says it is targeting a limited number of specialist VARs to join its franchise partner programme in each of its key European markets. It has already recruited partners in France, Spain, Germany and Belgium, which has extended the Colt brand across a wider network of VARs.

“Our new franchise channel allows us to tap into the agility, entrepreneurial spirit and local expertise of businesses like SAS,” comments Carol Alexander, franchise channel director, Colt.

“We have seen significantly increased demand for a range of IT managed services supported by robust voice and data connectivity from our channel partners, driven by their end customers. By offering our franchise partners the opportunity to sell these solutions under the Colt brand, it will accelerate the reach of our services in the market.”

Colt operates a 22-country, 44,000km network that includes metropolitan area networks in 39 major European cities with direct fibre connections into 19,000 buildings and 20 carrier neutral Colt datacentres.


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