Virgin Media Wholesale shows commitment to the channel

The decision by Virgin to establish its wholesale business shows positive signs of its belief that it can grow with partners

Virgin Media Wholesale is reaching out to encourage more resellers to get involved with its expanding connectivity opportunity.

Covid-19 has accelerated the adoption of cloud-based communications, but even before the pandemic this year was set to have connectivity take centre stage thanks to the arrival of 5G.

Virgin Media Wholesale was set up as a separate entity at the start of 2019 as Virgin Media Business looked to develop its channel business, work with the channel to handle networking and data products, along with the option to provide backhaul connectivity to channel partners.

Dale Parkinson, sales director of Virgin Media Wholesale, said that the business had been set up to work with the channel and to drive indirect sales.

“We created Virgin Media Wholesale because we believe in the channel community and the opportunity in connectivity,” he said. “We have been able to engage with the channel in a way we were less able to previously.”

Those partners that have found themselves in a position with the skills and knowledge to serve customers with their communication needs have found the current situation to be one that has cemented their relationships with customers.

“When you look at the information and systems customers are asking channel partners to do more,” said Parkinson. “The channel has the expertise and ultimately deliver choice to the customer base.”

He added that there has been a shift in the past few years with customers becoming more knowledgeable about their communications options and looking to work with channel partners that had high levels of expertise.

That situation has been exacerbated by the coronavirus, with many customers are changing their business in ways that will last much longer than the current pandemic. Parkinson said that had also given channel partners an opportunity to help come up with solutions.

But he cautioned against going in hard with a 5G cloud communications pitch because not all customers are currently thinking about long-term strategy, with the prospect of getting through a hard winter the main priority for most, but there are signs that comms strategies are changing.

“They are asking if they have successfully operated their business during the pandemic? Absolutely. Will they be making changes? Absolutely. But we are not there across the board,” he said.

Parkinson recently took part in the Connected Britain event, being given a slot to talk about accelerating the reinvention of the city, sharing his view about the importance of communications to the prosperity of the nation.

“As an industry and a Connected Britain community, we hoped we could showcase to vendors and partners that are more knowledgeable about the opportunity we have, but there is still a way to go,” he added .“We all want that reality to happen sooner rather than later.”

The coronavirus has sparked plenty of change, with some in the industry coining the phrase ‘five years in five months’, but there is a lot more to be done and Parkinson is encouraging partners to understand the opportunities, accept not everyone is on the same page, but to show customers what is possible.

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