CRN Exclusive: Intelisys, NTT America Open The Doors To Global Connectivity For Partners

Master agent Intelisys' massive solution provider community will now have access to an equally vast portfolio of global information and communications technology (ICT) services from NTT America through a new partnership between the two companies.

Announced Thursday, the agreement will give full access to NTT's global services -- including networking, cloud and security offerings -- to Intelisys' channel of telecom agents, VARs, and MSP sales partners. The deal will provide partners with a wealth of new recurring-revenue opportunities, as well as access to global services to better serve international companies, said J. R. Cook, senior vice president, business development, of Petaluma, Calif.-based Intelisys, in an exclusive interview with CRN.

NTT America, a division of NTT Communications Corp., rolled out its indirect sales program for master agents in September 2014. The provider has since added 14 master agents to its channel.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Partners Ready To Grow Alongside NTT's Blossoming Channel Program]

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"Intelisys has always been one of the largest and most trusted partners in the market today. It was one of the master agent partners that NTT really wanted to work with from the beginning," said Rob Westervelt, vice president and general manager of sales and global solutions for NTT America.

NTT America's portfolio includes network functions virtualization (NFV), disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), network security, unified communications (UC), collaboration, UCaaS and professional services, among other offerings. Intelisys partners will not only be able to sell NTT's services, but will also have access to NTT's 140 global data center locations, the companies said.

Business customers are expanding internationally and are turning to solution providers for help connecting their disparate environments. NTT's ability to keep customers on-network with its large portfolio of global MPLS and cloud offerings, coupled with its well-known brand, has pushed the provider to the top of many solution provider wish lists, Cook said.

"For partners to be able to say to their customers, 'I can now provide you with an international solution with a company that also has a presence in the U.S.' will really empower them to solve problems associated with international expansion for their customers," he said.

Intelisys' partners started asking about NTT around the time NTT and Intelisys began partnership talks. Cook said Intelisys' partners are excited about the partnership because of the opportunities it represents for their customers.

Because of its global reach, NTT can also offer customers local billing -- an advantage for tax purposes in the international marketplace, NTT's Westervelt said.

"Bigger enterprises need to have billing done in the local currency to specific locations, and it’s a big benefit for sales partners to be able to say that NTT can provide local billing," Intelisys' Cook added.

Intelisys will roll out new educational offerings for agents looking to get up to speed with not only NTT's products, but broader international cloud sales opportunities, too. The master agent plans to expand its popular Cloud Services University -- a program with more than 2,000 sales partner registrants -- to include modules specifically around international cloud sales, Cook said.

"We want to create something for partners who want to understand the international environment, and then bring in our sponsoring partners like NTT in to talk specifically about why a partner would want to position NTT to customers, and [NTT] can bring their expertise to the table that we may not have in-house," he added.

"The feedback has been very positive. Partners realize [NTT] is more than just a bandwidth aggregator -- this is a true solution provider for international services," Cook said.