CRN Exclusive: Verizon Launches First-Ever Distributor Program, Helps Partners Deepen Security Offerings

Verizon Enterprise Solutions is adding a new branch to its blossoming channel program, Verizon told CRN exclusively.

The latest Value Added Distributor Program is aimed at helping the telecom giant sell its networking, security and managed services -- starting with its Rapid Response Retainer offering -- to more traditional solution provider partners.

The carrier is kicking off its distributor program with the help of Fremont, Calif.-based IT distributor and solution provider Synnex Corp., a longtime Verizon partner. Synnex will now include Verizon’s Rapid Response Retainer (RRR) security offering in its broad portfolio of connectivity, cloud and collaboration services.

[Related: Partners Praise Verizon's Robust Wireless Network As Carrier Takes Top Spot In J.D. Power Survey]

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The distributor will also allow its solution provider partners to wrap their own services around Verizon's technology so they can sell customizable IT bundles, said Tim Acker, Synnex's vice president of mobility and connected solutions.

The Verizon-Synnex partnership is intended to help Synnex partners already selling security, networking and unified communications solutions to beef up their security offerings by integrating RRR. It also opens up another recurring revenue stream, according to the carrier.

"[RRR] is really a best-of-breed approach to proactive consulting, preparation and insight services for customers, followed up with incidence response services," Acker said. "We are taking [RRR] and allowing partners to bundle it as a part of their broader [offerings], so they can deliver one solution instead of a customer having multiple security sources."

Verizon's RRR service includes forensics, cyber incident assessments and designated security experts from Verizon who can go out to customer sites to conduct IT investigations 24/7. The offering was first rolled out to enterprise end customers last summer, and Verizon opened Rapid Response Retainer up to its channel of solution provider partners in August 2015.

But resellers have been asking for RRR to be a part of their solution as opposed to offering RRR as a standalone service. The new partnership and distributor partner program will add a new set of opportunities for both Synnex and Verizon, Acker said.

Through the distributor program, Verizon and Synnex are working together to package RRR in an easy-to-sell bundle for partners because traditional solution providers are used to reselling packaged offerings that complement their own business, said Wendy Petty, executive director of global channels for Basking Ridge, N.J.-based Verizon.

"[RRR] for the distribution channel gets billed on the partner's paper, and it complements their existing security business with the security solutions they are selling today," Petty said.

Giving distributors access to RRR will put the security offering within reach of many more resellers -- and their end customers -- that haven't had access to high-level forensics expertise, she said.

"[The partnership] gets us into a whole new community of partners -- like traditional networking and security solution providers -- that we've never sold to before," she said.

For Synnex, helping partners deepen their security offerings with RRR should be attractive to many of its partners.

"There's a big market for this and we have high hopes for this product," Synnex's Acker said.

Verizon chose to launch RRR to the distribution channel first because of the overwhelming requirement for security among solution providers and their end customers.

"The security market is so hot, and there's not a day that goes by that we don't see a company that has been breached," Petty said. "By starting with RRR, partners are able to leverage Verizon's expertise in the security space. When a RRR customer gets breached, all they have to do is pick up the phone 24/7 and call Verizon. We can get boots on the ground in less than 24 hours."

Verizon hasn't delivered its solutions through the distribution channel in the past. But as the carrier seeks to expand its channel, it needs to be able to scale quickly and distribution partners can help, Petty said.

"By partnering with Synnex, we'll be able to leverage their partners and actually bring Verizon solutions to large ends users -- we'll be able to recruit and onboard new partners and customers at a much faster pace," she said.

While Verizon is focused on its Synnex partnership right now, the carrier expects the program to scale to include more distribution partners, and access to its other products and services down the road, Verizon said.