7 New Money-Makers For The Telecom Channel10:00 AM EST Thu. Mar. 07, 2013
Telecom players big and small took to the Channel Partners Conference and Expo in Las Vegas last week to flaunt their latest and greatest in channel offerings. From completely revamped partner programs, to product launches aimed specifically at the channel, here are seven announcements from the show you don't want to miss.
Windstream announced plans to start selling its key data center products through the channel, lifting the direct-only sales models that were previously in place for its co-location, dedicated servers, Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) and unified email management solutions.
The company said it's already put about half of its channel managers through data center certification training, with more expected to complete the training this summer.
"The addition of these products to our partners' portfolios will allow them to offer their customers a more robust Windstream solution—from the network all the way out to the cloud," said Don Perkins, senior vice president of business marketing for Windstream, in a statement.
As a complement to its existing referral partner program, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider ProfitBricks announced a formal reseller program, targeting managed service providers, VARs, system integrators and IT consultants who can help sell its cloud offerings.
According to ProfitBricks, the program boasts a "simple pricing model" that arms VARs with up to a 25 percent discount on its next-generation cloud services, depending on the monthly recurring revenue they receive. Partners will also take complete control of their customers' accounts, handling all billing, customer support and account provisioning, ProfitBricks said.
The new program comes less than two months after ProfitBricks launched its new referral program, which offers partners up to 25 percent of revenue that comes from new customer accounts.
Star2Star Communications unleashed a new lineup of managed security products to be offered through its channel.
The new Star2Star Security Suite including managed firewall, gateway antivirus, VPN and firewall scanning services, all of which will be compatible with its next-generation StarBox IP communications appliance, is slated for launch later this year. The managed firewall and firewall scanning piece will allow Star2Star partners to remotely manage clients' firewalls, and monitor for an unusual or suspicious data traffic.
Star2Star's partner program, which invites dealers and agents to sell both its VoIP service and communications systems in an integrated package, has become a hit in the channel over the past few years.
Verizon, in a move to broaden its midmarket reach, completely revamped its channel program by consolidating several existing programs in what the telecom giant says is one "best-of-breed" partner program.
Under the new program, Verizon said its partners will have access to a wider range of resources, including channel managers and marketing development funds.
What's more, Verizon introduced a new partner community powered by Salesforce.com, which it said solution providers can use to collaborate with Verizon sales teams on deal registration and joint go-to-market opportunities
The Verizon Partner Program consists of three different business models: Agent partners, which sell solutions on Verizon's behalf; Resale partners, which market and resell Verizon services; and "Sell With" partners, which can wrap their own solutions around Verizon's, and then jointly market and resell the final product.
Tech Data announced a new agreement with Verizon it says makes it the first distributor participating in the Verizon Partner Program to enable 4G tablet activation for the channel.
The newly added 4G activation services will be bundled in Tech Data's broader TDMobility unit, which offers VARs end-to-end services for selling and activating mobile devices, along with handling all the associated billing and service plans.
As part of the agreement, Tech Data said it will act as the connecting agent between Verizon and its channel of more than 60,000 solution providers.
"Verizon has really stepped up in the channel, enabling the activation of a complete portfolio of mobile tablet solutions, including the iPad, on the largest LTE network for the VAR community," said Charles Kriete, executive vice president of Tech Data's TDMobility unit. "TDMobility is focused on providing the best mobility services and solutions for our resellers, and partnering with Verizon is a natural extension of our commitment to simplifying the mobility space."
Intelisys used last week's Channel Partners Conference and Expo to unveil a new interactive dashboard that will arm its agent partners with "at-a-glance" statistics related to product orders, spiffs and other key business metrics.
The dashboard, dubbed MyIntelisys, has been in development for nearly two years, and was first released to partners in Intelisys' Top Performing Champions Club (Club TPC). As of last week, the tool was made available to the company's full range of channel partners.
Intelisys also announced at the event its new Channel Alignment Program, which helps telecom agents, VARs and IT solutions providers establish business partnerships. The new program, Intelisys said, addresses the "chaos caused by the blending of telecom and IT" by pairing IT solution providers with selected Intelisys agents. Thanks to the program, IT partners may add a cloud and carrier services practice to their business models, with minimal capital investment, Intelisys said.
Hosted PBX provider Momentum said last week it's adding video capabilities to its cloud-based unified communications platform, a move that's poised to make its channel partners more competitive in the enterprise space.
The new Momentum Video, powered by Radvision Scopia, is a scalable, multipoint Video-as-a-Service solution, including both a desktop and mobile client. According to Momentum, the offering comes complete with "efficiency-driven" features, along with built-in presentation and recording components. It's compatible with room-based equipment, desktops, tablets, smartphones and UC apps.
"Enterprise collaboration tools have become fundamental to daily correspondence impacting the way traditional sales, service and support channels operate," said Alan Creighton, president and CEO of Momentum, in a statement. "Momentum Video creates conference rooms without walls—the anywhere-access, realtime communications today’s professionals need."