Verizon Adds Ingram Micro to Help Drive Massive Partner Expansion

Verizon Enterprise Solutions has added Ingram Micro Mobility, the mobile business unit of distribution powerhouse Ingram Micro, to its partner program as the telecom giant looks to greatly expand its solution provider base.

The telecom vendor has determined that it needs alliances with core top distributors to grow its channel ecosystem beyond the 1,000 partners Verizon has today, according to Adam Famularo, vice president of global channels at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, the business division of New York-based Verizon Communications.

Distribution will be vital for expanding further into other types of segments such as OEMs, ISVs and systems integrators, Famularo said.

[RELATED: Mobility, PC Sales Drive Q3 Revenue Growth For Ingram]

Sponsored post

"Verizon can only grow so large, so fast within the large enterprise," Famularo told CRN. He started as Verizon's channel chief in September with the goal of jump-starting its partner recruitment efforts.

Ingram Micro is the third broadline distributor Verizon has added in recent years, Famularo said, with Tech Data and Synnex being brought on board in the first half of 2013.

Ingram Micro partners had access to Verizon's end-to-end, machine-to-machine and mobility offerings starting Wednesday, the company said. The vendor began talking about the upcoming partnership with Ingram Micro during the 2015 CES consumer electronics conference in early January, Famularo said.

"The program directly aligns with our objective of providing simplified connected solutions to the channel. It makes it easier for resellers to enhance or add a new line of business, while eliminating additional work on their end," said Alex Paskoff, senior vice president of sales and strategic partnerships, Ingram Micro Mobility North America, in a statement.

Although the initial agreement with Ingram Micro just covers the United States, Famularo said Verizon is very interested down the road in adding more agents, resellers and distributors in Europe. The company has a very limited channel presence in Europe today, Famularo said.

Ingram Micro partners working with Verizon can expect recurring revenue through a referral licensing model, said Famularo, who declined to disclose margins. Partners will also be able to take advantage of Verizon's 4G LTE and global IP networks, Famularo said.

Verizon has seen its end-to-end and mobility sales grow most quickly in the health care, education, retail and transportation distribution verticals, Famularo said.

Going through Ingram Micro will allow partners to take advantage of the distributor's services and hardware offerings around tablets, mobile devices and connected laptops, Famularo said, and provide a complete solution.

Verizon's mobility offerings serve as a terrific stepping stone for Ingram Micro partners looking to get into networking, security or cloud, said Famularo.

Next: Ingram Micro Partners Thrilled About Deal

Ingram Micro partner Baroan Technologies has up until now stayed away from carrying mobility products since Ingram only had a relationship with Sprint, according to company president Guy Baroan.

Verizon, however, has the best coverage in and around Elmwood Park, N.J., where Baroan's company is based. He had previously been telling customers interested in Verizon FiOS or other Verizon offerings to contact the company directly.

"This opens up a whole new avenue for us," said Baroan, who definitely plans to take advantage of the offering.

The partnership will allow Baroan Technologies to directly provide clients with iPhone, Droid and data plan bundles, Baroan said, while still relying on Ingram Micro to manage the Verizon relationship on the back end.

Plus end users will get to avoid the hassle of dealing directly with Verizon customer service, he said.

"The clients would love for us to manage all the vendors," Baroan said. "The less they have to do, especially with Verizon, the better."

Moving forward, Verizon is hoping to leverage the channel to bolster its presence in the public sector market, particularly in state and local government and education (SLED). Famularo said the direct sales model doesn't work all too well in that vertical.

Verizon has redoubled its channel efforts in recent months with both key executive hires (such as Famularo) and by, in July, opening up 1,700 of its top enterprise accounts to solution providers. Those accounts had previously been managed exclusively by Verizon's direct sales team.

For Ingram Micro, the Verizon partnership builds upon an April agreement with four of the company's largest national dealers to distribute handsets and provide supply chain services such as device lifecycle management and demand planning services.

That agreement has been a major success, with year-over-year North American mobility revenue skyrocketing by more than 200 percent as of October.

Chief Financial Officer William Humes said at the time that Ingram Micro had reached a "full run rate" with its Verizon business around logistics, repairs, new customer wins and expanding business with current customers.