Verizon hopes that 100 per cent of sales will have channel involvement by 2019 – as should every vendor, according to the telecommunications vendor.
Digital transformation is producing more complex solutions that require partner involvement, said Janet Schijns (pictured), vice president of global channels at Verizon.
"Digital transformation is driving a need for every technology company to change how they go to market," she said. "About 15 per cent of our sales globally are through the channel currently. We are well on track to be 50 per cent plus by the end of next year. I believe by the end of 2019, every vendor deal will be supported through the channel."
Chris Dickson, executive client partner, EMEA channels, described Verizon as a "sleeping giant", backing some of the largest brands in the telecommunications market.
"I don't think we are one, two, three or four when it comes to telecommunications vendors in the UK. We are a sleeping giant, and we've built the company from the inside out rather than the outside in," he said.
Verizon offers resellers the opportunity to sell its full portfolio of products, which encompasses networks; advanced communications; cloud, IT and applications; mobility; IOT; and security.
It has changed its partner programme in the last 18 months to target the changing IT industry.
"Vendors tended to have a single model: either a resell programme, a sell-with programme or a referral programme," said Schijns. "We wiped the slate clean. Our channel is based on three tenets: our reseller programme, flexible business models, and a local focus."
The flexible business models mean that Verizon has two routes to market. The first is an "agent model", which is for resellers who look to sell the products as they are. The second is the "reseller model", aimed more at integrators and VARs. Both programmes include free training and certifications.
Schijns added: "We treat our partners like we would treat our own salespeople. You don't charge your salespeople for certifications and training, so you shouldn't charge your partners."
To combat any conflict between Verizon's direct sales team and its resellers as the vendor moves more into a channel focus, Dickson said that its sales team are compensated whether they get the sale or the channel does.
"They can sell direct or they can go through the partner, and it is all the same to them," he explained.
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