INTELISYS CHANNEL CONNECT — Sprint is unifying its partner program.
The company this week announced that it realigned its three indirect channels – for mobility and IoT; wireline and cloud; and wholesale – under the Sprint Business Partner Program.
Sales director Scott Valentine said two months ago that the Sprint Partner Program would wrap around the three business units, and the rebranding went live on Wednesday. Sprint also launched its IoT in a Box program for partners; it too falls under the purview of the Sprint Business Partner Program.
“It’s a good thing from Sprint’s perspective because we can approach the channel in a unified way, even though our support structure is spread across all three,” Valentine told Channel Partners.
And there are other significant changes within the different units.
Sprint recently formed a “Sell With” program designed to prevent conflict between direct and indirect wireline and cloud efforts. Partners can register to team up with Sprint’s direct sales team to work together with a customer. Sprint will give partners a 100 percent commission in those scenarios.
The mobility and IoT division has shifted to a master-agent model. Valentine said this strategy leverages existing relationships with companies like Telarus and Intelisys. Intelisys upgraded Sprint to a “strategic supplier” in the most recent quarter.
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“This move is going to benefit the Sprint channel partners, because it’s going to simplify the way that the subagent on-boarding process works, not only for the wireline products but for IoT and mobility,” said Valentine, who spoke to us at the Intelisys Channel Connect conference in Monterey, California.
The telecommunications carrier has diversified its portfolio in multiple categories this year. It announced partnerships in February with Zscaler and Samsung Knox to bolster its respective security and mobility management services. April heralded Sprint’s new unified communications platform in partnership with BroadSoft. And lastly, the IoT updates keep coming from headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas. Sprint launched its Curiosity IoT Platform three weeks ago.
Sprint Business is disrupting the industry and partnering with @ericsson to deliver a ground breaking #IoT-dedicate core network and operating system. Tune in on September 12th as the #Sprint team reveals the
technology at #MWCA18. https://t.co/Kp9eFnDLr6 #WorksForBusiness pic.twitter.com/VyKTil2uKb
— Sprint Business (@sprintbusiness) September 5, 2018
A Frost & Sullivan analyst told Channel Partners that Sprint is building out its service portfolio, deepening existing customer relationships and working to acquire new customers.
Valentine said Sprint is “gaining mindshare” in new areas of technology, as IT and telecom continue to converge.
“I think that most agents still don’t know that we offer this awesome wireline and cloud portfolio that not only includes wide area networking but also includes UCaaS and contact center,” he said.
Valentine credited Dave Falter for taking on the role of Sprint’s channel chief and advocating for the program as Sprint’s upper management determines the corporation’s strategy.
“I think he’s been a good leader in expressing the importance of the channel to the corporation,” Valentine said.
For now, Valentine said having an overall partner program that is explicitly labeled a “partner program” creates consistency for its members.
“While that may seem like a minor change, it’s a big change in the attitude going forward with messaging in the channel.”