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Verizon Pursues More Market Segments via New Business Unit

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Verizon’s Janet Schijns said the company’s new business unit will reach new market segments without inconveniencing partners.

Verizon's Janet SchijnsSchijns, who serves as Verizon’s vice president of solutions and sales channels, will serve on the executive leadership team for Verizon Business Markets, a new organization aimed at SMBs, state and local governments, and schools.

The initial services for Verizon Business Markets (VBM) are voice, broadband, IP networking, advanced voice solutions, security, managed services and others.

“What we really made sure was that we took care of all the segments in a way that the segments wanted to engage with our portfolio and buy,” Schijns told Channel Partners. “So the Verizon Business Markets story is just that — to expand our focus on small, medium, state, local government and education.”

The unit will sell both directly and indirectly, and the latter will go through the Verizon Partner Program. Schjins emphasized that nothing will change for partners whose customers match the target description of (VBM).{ad}

“If you’re a member of the Verizon partner program and you sell into enterprise accounts or you’re a government partner, you’re still in the Verizon partner program,” she said.

Schijns will be the “single-facing” executive for those partners, thanks to her dual position as channel chief and a member of the VBM executive leadership team.

“We sat at the table together and said, ‘Partners don’t want to join two programs. They do not want to have to engage with two channel chiefs,’” she said.

A big driver behind the creation of VBM is Verizon’s recently completed acquisition of XO Communications’ fiber-optic network business.

“XO is coming primarily to the Verizon Business Markets portfolio, and their channel is coming in intact 100 percent,” Schijns said.

She said the XO partner program will remain in place just as like the Verizon Partner Program.

“We are taking the XO channel partners and channel program intact with me under the stewardship of Bill Hooper, who is a phenomenal channel leader that everyone knows and loves,” she said.

Schijns said Verizon is not on a “recruitment drive” for new partners, but instead has emphasized the message that it wants to “grow with the least amount of partners for the most amount of growth.”

“The channel is our primary distribution today. That will only increase,” she said. “We have a seat at the table for all of our existing partners to grow with us, and most importantly, those partners want to grow with us.

Schijns will unveil more details during her keynote address at the upcoming Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.


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