Verizon tapped the master agent last month to launch a channel sales program for its business wireless portfolio. That gave TBI subagents access to Verizon’s portfolio of IoT/M2M, mobility, and 4G/LTE routers.
The agreement made TBI the first master agent to cover all of Verizon’s customer segmented portfolios — wireline, wireless, enterprise, state and local government, and higher levels of government.
The agreement shifts how channel partners sell wireless solutions from Verizon.
Mike Onystok, TBI’s vice president of sales, marketing and training, said the new program bypasses the distribution partners that subagents previously had to go through. The distribution partner was necessary to keep inventory of the smart device involved.
But Onystok said the new agreement allows partners to sell Verizon’s wireless portfolio in the same way they’ve worked with other channel programs.
“Channel partners everywhere can now position Verizon Wireless solutions to their end users the way they’ve always been accustomed to doing so, without worry of inventory, shipping and other mobility nuances,” he said.
TBI bulked up its support team to launch the program. Its Verizon group now includes 16 pre-sales specialists, a dedicated design engineer, eight contract specialists, eight project managers and two program managers.
Onystok said back-office support gives TBI an advantage over rival master agents.
“We really focus on the partner and say, ‘How can every department in our organization help our partners have a more sound business structure?'” he said.
TBI has partnered with the carrier since Verizon entered the master-agent channel in 2008, and their relationship reached platinum status in 2015. But the partnership runs deeper.
The Chicago-based master partnered with XO Communications, whose fiber optic network business Verizon later bought in 2016. XO comprised a significant portion of TBI’s business. When XO Communications consolidated its direct channel partners from more than 200 to 10, TBI made the cut.
“After the acquisition, we have an enormous book of business with Verizon,” Onystok said.
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A face very familiar with TBI is Bill Hooper, who served as managing director of XO Communications’ partner channel and now leads Verizon’s channel. Hooper helped Verizon make major changes to its partner program 2018, and Onystok spoke highly of the current organization.
“Verizon (and their focus over the course of this year), in my opinion, has been better than ever,” he said. “There [have] been more alliances with leadership. There’s been more focus from them to have a higher coverage in terms of resources as available, as well as channel partners that they’re communicating with directly.”
Verizon last week announced a major shift in its operating structure. The change makes the company’s three main units consumer, business and media — and spreads its wireless unit across the consumer and business groups.