Alliance Partners Consortium Extends Verizon Relationship For Access To Next-Gen Solutions

Alliance Partners, a consortium that brings together telecom agents and consultants, VARs and managed service providers, Sunday said it is designating telecom giant Verizon as a Preferred Provider and joining Verizon’s Partner Program as a Platinum Member.

The 20-year-old channel partner organization has been on the lookout for service providers offering next-generation, strategic services for its members. The expanded partnership between Verizon and Alliance Partners will open up access to Verizon’s complete portfolio, including SD-WAN, cloud and Internet of Things solutions to Alliance Partners' 17 IT and telecom agent partner members, according to Bill Power, CEO of Alliance Partners.

For Verizon, the upgraded partnership will immediately get the carrier in front of the consortium's powerful sales and marketing engine, according to Power. Alliance Partners’ 17 members collectively book more than $1.1 billion in annual billings and about $2 million in new revenue every month, and have access to more than 11,000 sub-agent partners, he said.

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’There’s strength in numbers … the Alliance is far and away the largest-producing entity in the channel today,’ Power added. ’By virtue of being a Preferred Provider, Verizon really starts getting a lot more mindshare.’

Getting traction with agent partners and ultimately booking business can be a challenge for many service providers. Alliance Partners helps both its own members, as well as service providers and carriers, make the right connections and build relationships, he said.

Via the partnership, Verizon will be able to build up its channel-based sales and revenue much more quickly than it could on its own, Power said.

’The Alliance’s network of agents has a very significant scale and reach, so they give us immediate access to a really impressive sales machine that puts us in front of the line to the C-level leadership of their 17 members,’ Janet Schijns, vice president of global channels for Verizon Enterprise Solutions, told CRN regarding the partnership.

Verizon joins Alliances Partners’ Preferred Provider status alongside CenturyLink, Masergy and Evolve IP.

’In talking with the Alliance, it’s very clear they think that Verizon has a hot hand in next-gen technology, like SDN, security and wireless, and they want to make sure their members are bringing that to their customers,’ Schijns added.

The partnership gives Alliance Partners members access to another Tier 1 provider. Despite achieving Platinum Partner status within Verizon’s Partner Program, Alliance Partners members won’t be subject to quotas imposed by Verizon because the sales volume from all 17 Alliance members is aggregated, Power said.

Alliance Partners isn’t looking to establish contracts with every carrier or service provider on the market, but rather focuses on providers with a depth of offerings that are focused on strategic services to help members grow their business and help these agents become full-fledged solution providers, Power said.

’Our members still sell a lot of traditional telecom products, but we look at where the industry is going, where the demand is in the marketplace, and identify providers that will help us bring strategic solutions to customers,’ he said.

Not every telecom agent partner is equipped to make the shift to start selling strategic services like cloud solutions today, but Power said that members are ready for the challenge.

Richmond, Va.-based Alliance Partners, previously known as Agent Alliance, is a forum for education and collaboration for its members. The organization negotiates service provider contracts on behalf of all of its members, but each Alliance member has its own direct relationship with its provider partners. In addition, Alliance Partners members can share their own service provider contracts with fellow members.