It's increasingly trendy for large solution providers to sell products and services through or in partnership with other solution providers, and Strategic Products and Services (SPS), the Parsippany, N.J.-based networking/communications powerhouse, is going that route with the launch of a new agent program targeting SMB customers.
How it works is that SPS agents either receive a fee for referring business to SPS, or they actually resell products and services in the SPS portfolio that SPS funnels from its major vendor partners, including Avaya and Microsoft. SPS agents receive a commission based on the overall margin in the deal and are paid after the transaction completes, according to an SPS spokesperson.
SPS will partner with network service providers and their wiring contractors as well as traditional solution providers. Agents have neither upfront investment nor minimum volume requirements with SPS, according to the company, with the goal being to expand its reach into SMB customers SPS wouldn't already be able to access. Everything from Avaya IP communications to sales support, installation and maintenance services is fair game for SPS agents.
[Related: CRN's 2012 Solution Provider 500 List]
SPS, ranked No. 104 on CRN's 2012 Solution Provider 500 list, has been active in the recent wave of channel consolidation, having acquired several fellow Avaya partners in the past two years. It bought Jones Communications in March, Imagine Technologies in December 2011, Spenser Communications in February 2011 and Consultedge in August 2010.
The Agent Program is part of an overall push toward SMB business by SPS, which in mid-August launched a dedicated small-to-midsized enterprise (SME) practice targeting businesses of up to 1,000 users and up to roughly $250 million in revenue. Jody GrandPre, the former president of Imagine and recently sales director for SPS' Mountain West office, leads the practice.
PUBLISHED SEPT. 13, 2012