Coast Mobilizes To Help Smaller VARs Deliver Services

Coast Solutions Group, which has organized the group of 47 solution providers, is looking for about 1,000 smaller solution providers that may have limited services capabilities but don't want to turn away that business when it comes their way, said Paul Freeman, president of Coast.

The organization facilitates requests between solution providers that enable one to develop a services proposal for another solution provider, which can then take the proposal to a customer with its own name and mark-up, Freeman said.

Eryck Bredy, president of Bredy Network Management, a small Woburn, Mass.-based solution provider, said the plan sounds interesting, depending on Coast's fees and logistics.

Bredy said he gets 70 percent of his business from other solution providers looking to utilize his expertise. "But anybody who says they don't need new business is crazy," he said.

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Details regarding annual fees for smaller solution providers looking to join the organization are being finalized, but they will be approximately one-tenth the cost of hiring its own services engineer, said Freeman.

Agile360, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider, has used the Coast network to service a customer with a Northern California branch office.

"Coast took care of it," said Kevin Kelly, Agile360 vice president. "We don't even know who the other solution provider was."

Kelly said he welcomes midsize and smaller solution providers to join the organization. "Coast provides a resource they are not able to offer," he said.

The organization was founded and spun off from Coast Technologies, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider, as a way for Southern California solution providers to collaborate on services.