Verizon Wednesday relaunched its partner program, combining six previous programs under one roof to simplify its channel strategy.
The new Verizon Partner Program was redesigned to bring different parts of Verizon's business into a single offering for all of the company's partners, from agents and resellers to service providers and system integrators. The program features five solution tracks -- networks, mobility, advanced communications, cloud/applications and machine-to-machine -- in which partners can be specialized and become certified.
The new Verizon Partner Program also allows partners to select how they want to do business with the telecom carrier, offering three business models: the agent model, where partners sell Verizon products and services on behalf of the company; the resale model, which offers partners flexibility to package, market and resell Verizon services; and the "sell with" model, where partners jointly market and present complementary solutions but don't actually sell Verizon products or services.
"We brought all of those different partner programs and models into one program to simplify and streamline our go-to-market strategy," said Richard Williams, executive director of channels for Verizon Enterprise Solutions.
In addition to the business models and solution tracks, the Verizon Partner Program features four distinct partner levels: Member, which is the program's basic membership level; Silver, which offers additional training and marketing incentives; Gold, which has more lucrative incentives and features exclusive Webinar content and conference invitations; and Platinum, which comes with all the benefits of the lower levels plus assigned marketing resources and joint participation at events.
Williams said the membership levels are based on annual revenue generated plus technical certifications and that revenue requirements are uniform across the solution tracks and business models.
A new Verizon Partner Program website as well as a Verizon Partner Relationship Management Portal, based on Salesforce.com's PRM offering, are part of the rollout. Verizon also revamped its rules of engagement for channel sales, saying it has clearly defined all direct customer accounts and established new lead referral and lead registration systems.
Verizon has less than 500 partners worldwide under the new program, but Williams said the company isn't looking to add scores more. "Our goal is isn't to add a thousand new partners this year," he said. "We want to add companies that really want to work with us and are going to be a good fit in the program."
Interest in Verizon is running high in the channel, according to Williams, since the telecom giant increased its cloud services business following its acquisition of Terremark in 2011.
PUBLISHED FEB. 27, 2013