CRN Exclusive: DataXoom Is Helping Partners Cash In On Mobility With Mobile Data Plan Program

DataXoom is opening up access for partners to mobile data plans and the lucrative -- but historically elusive -- recurring revenue that comes with those mobile device connections.

DataXoom, of Berkeley, Calif., focuses on mobility solutions and is a wholesale provider of mobile data services for businesses and to its newly formed channel. While mobile data is a requirement for most businesses today, solution providers offering mobile data plans through carriers or master agents have traditionally struggled with getting the right compensation or making a profit on these plans. DataXoom's new program will not only extend the opportunity to earn recurring revenue on these plans; the provider is also giving its partners access to its custom billing platform, said Rob Chamberlin, DataXoom's co-founder and executive vice president.

"Many [solution providers] don't have a mobile strategy, or maybe have an agreement with one carrier, but nothing that would differentiate them to customers," Chamberlin said. "We are offering a new plan that is a great way for a channel partner to monetize mobility and add value in the eyes of their end customers, in a much simpler process than what has been out there."

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DataXoom's billing platform gives its partners tools and options to help get these mobile plans up and running for their end customers, as well as management capabilities. According to the company, DataXoom partners will now have access to simplified multi-carrier engagements, deal registrations, and billing for three of the largest wireless carriers -- AT&T, Verizon and Sprint -- through the platform on one monthly invoice. DataXoom is offering partners this access without contracts or termination penalties.

Solution providers working with customers with mobility requirements and the DataXoom platform can get these customers up and running with mobile data plans within days, without having to navigate the rules of engagement with multiple carriers, Chamberlin said.

When it comes to mobility, many partners have a gap in their portfolios because it's been too painful, or not profitable enough to sell mobile plans, he said.

"We feel like this is going to be quite helpful to partners," Chamberlin said. "We are allowing our partners to really benefit from our billing platform. Once the customer pays their bill, we send the channel partner the difference between what our costs are and what the customer pays."

DataXoom launched its own channel partner program this year. The provider also brought on Bryan Hagedon, former head of mobility for Ingram Micro, as vice president of channel and partner development in November.

The platform will be opened up to its ecosystem of about 20 solution provider partners that include VARs, distributors, MSPs and ISPs, Chamberlin said, noting that several partners have already begun monetizing mobility through the DataXoom platform.

Mobile data pricing options include pay-as-you-go plans, Gigabyte plans that pool across all customers, and large terabyte plans that can be customized for specific business needs.

DataXoom's approach is giving its partners an advantage over purchasing mobility plans directly from the carrier, Chamberlin said. The provider is allowing solution providers to pool their customers together so partners can eliminate overages and lower the connectivity costs for customers. In the past, pooling has typically only been available from carriers to their partners with large enterprise accounts.

"Because we are a wholesaler, our pricing and terms are very good compared to what's out there on a retail basis," he said. "We are giving partners the benefit of pooling."

DataXoom can also provide affordable new or refurbished devices, and tablet-and-service bundles, in which the cost of leasing the device is packaged with the monthly data service, the company said. Configuration, warranty, and repair services can also be added.