In a high-profile example of the convergence of IT and telecom channels, Tech Data Corp.'s TDMobility has partnered with telecom master agency MicroCorp Inc. to facilitate carrier service sales through TechData's channel of more than 60,000 resellers in the United States, beginning next year.
The groundbreaking deal, announced by MicroCorp president and CEO Brad Miehl at the master agency's One-On-One partner meeting in Atlanta, enables TDMobility to offer carrier, managed and cloud services through MicroCorp’s contractual relationships with more than 50 service providers. In addition, MicroCorp will manage all pre- and post-sales functions, while VARs will be able to monitor opportunity and order status through Nautilus, MicroCorp’s cloud-based carrier services management system.
TDMobility, a joint venture between Tech Data and Brightstar, launched earlier this year to offer an end-to-end platform encompassing mobile hardware, software, service plans, activation and billing. TDMobility features two flagship offerings, CellManage and TDActivate, which enable VARs to provide a mobile managed service or simply activate wireless devices and plans, respectively.
Charles Kriete, executive vice president of TDMobility, told Channel Partners that adding wireline services was in response to customer demand for sourcing end-to-end solutions from IT resellers.
He also said the process and supply chain TDMobility has built for handling mobile service activations applies to any agent-based contract model.
"We thought there was an opportunity to develop one strategic partnership ... and then bring that downstream to our market and deliver managed services for landline," Kriete said, noting that partnering versus building was the best option for adding wireline because of the complexities in working with landline carriers.
Kriete said MicroCorp was selected from among other master agencies because its managed services approach was most closely aligned with TDMobility's and could ease integration of systems to ultimately deliver a blended solution, including a "single pane of glass" for both wireless and wireline management.