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Carriers Renew Focus On SMBs

AT&T and Avaya create a dedicated sales center for small and midsize businesses, while Sprint forms a Small Business specialty team to develop new products and services.The AT&T / Avaya Center features a common "front door" for one-stop-shopping for SMB network services and equipment, including both standardized and custom solutions. The companies claim their joint products will adhere to open standareds, provide interoperability testing, and a single point of contact.

According to Avaya, the Center offers:

  • Seamless access to Avaya's communications solutions through the use of AT&T's advanced SIP services.
  • Combinations of AT&T's mobility network services and Avaya's IP Office.

Sprint's new small business specialty team, meanwhile, is intended to focus the company on that market. Part of Sprint's newly formed Business Markets Group, the team will be a single point of contact for all of the company's small business efforts.

The goal is for the team to dedicate resources, customize products, and develop special offers for small businesses. What's new right away -- according to the company -- is "certified indirect dealers that focus entirely on selling and serving the small business community, and the new market-based Small Business Account Executives who provide support and training for Sprint retail locations and the certified dealers."

The team also takes over existing Sprint small business programs such as Business On Main (a partnership with MSN), Ready Now for Business (designed to help business customers at Sprint's retail stores), and Sprint Premier Care, which supports business customers with fewer than 25 wireless devices.

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