The successful development of BT Indirect Channels (BTIC), which now has annual revenues of £750m, has lead to the closure of BT's Alternative Channels unit which incubated it.
BTIC will now become part of BT Business, and data resellers will benefit as BT plans to promote of its channel partners to BT Business' million plus SME customers.
The company is also looking to sign up more local area network resellers to help target SME customers.
Alternative Channels was established in March 2001 to act as an incubator for BT sales business. The unit's head Ray Smith retired, with other staff reassigned elsewhere within the company, when the unit was closed this month BT said.
"We do not need the unit anymore because you can hardly call us fledgling now," said Chris Jagucz, head of business development at BTIC.
"The great news about this restructuring is it gives BTIC a louder voice on the board of the business that manages SME customers.
"Access to a new customer base and better representation will lead to more business for partners. We will shortly be looking for broadline networking resellers to buy through distribution."
But the news has received only a cautious welcome.
Manny Pinon, sales and marketing director at BT distributor Norwood Adam, said it is a case of "wait and see". But he added that if BT promotes resellers to BT Business customers it will be good for the channel.
"It still needs to demonstrate this because it has been saying this type of thing for a long time," he warned.
Pinon also said the move had not been communicated well. "[BT] should have explained this at its partner event in Manchester in May," he said.
But Jagucz defended the telco's decision not to use the event to announce the changes. He said BTIC had not wanted to distract partners from its message of growth in broadband and IT, and its reclaiming of lost voice customers.
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