**Editor's Note: Click here for a list of recent channel-program changes you should know.**
The change coincides with the carrier also announcing that it is extending its partner program internationally, starting in Europe. In the future, VPP also will be rolled out into the Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions.
The unprecedented access to enterprise accounts delivers on Verizon’s previously announced goal of having 98 percent of accounts addressable by the channel. In February, the carrier opened 11,000 business accounts to its indirect sales partners.
With the latest move, less than 200 accounts remain protected, but even those are open to partners through teaming with Verizon’s direct team, said Janet Schijns, vice president of medium business and channel for Verizon, in an interview with Channel Partners.
All other enterprise accounts can be solicited by VPP members on their own or through teaming.
“They do not need to have a Verizon person with them, but when they want a Verizon person with them, that will be available," Schijns said.
When a partner uncovers something and can handle it themselves, Verizon will preapprove those deals through deal registration. “We do want to have visibility in those channel deals, so that we can support the partner’s requests" for quick turnaround or complex contracts, for example, Schijns said.
To get that to work culturally within Verizon, the carrier has initiated an internal certification for its sales teams to help them understand partners business models, how they make money, how customers benefit and the rules of engagement. Similarly, it also is helping the partners with the right training and certification and a way to engage client executives via enhancements to the Salesforce.com PRM tool.
“We aren’t going to open the accounts to the indirect channel partners and hope for the best," added Schijns. “We are going to compensate our direct teams, our overlays and sales engineers, etc., to support the channel partners in those accounts."