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Verizon Vows Increased Partner MDF, Bridges Wireline-Wireless Divide for Partners

"In 2022 we're going to make investments in you," a Verizon executive said.

James Anderson

November 4, 2021

4 Min Read
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A Verizon executive pledged to ramp up Verizon’s investment in channel partners and create alignment between wireless and wireline sales.

Matthew Montgomery, managing director of Verizon Business Group, declared in a keynote Wednesday that Verizon will reward partners for the efforts they made to help the company navigate the pandemic. Montgomery said Verizon has not historically made “the greatest investment” in MDF. However, he said 2022 will see that trend shift.

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Verizon’s Matthew Montgomery

“In 2022 we’re going to make investments in you. We’re going to make investments in MDF to listen to your business model, make investments and work collectively with you. You are the voice of our customer. We’re going to embrace that,” Montgomery told the audience of Channel Partners Conference & Expo.

Wireline/Wireless Unification

Moreover, Montgomery said Verizon is working to make it easier for partners that sell different types of technology, be it wireline, wireless or IoT.

“You won’t need to worry so much about navigating different channels that sell different portfolios. We’re taking the Verizon portfolio, and we’re essentially putting them together so that you can represent all of that,” he said.

Verizon announced last year that it was centralizing its partner program to bring together wireless and wireline. The realignment, which new Channel Chief Wendy Taccetta announced, created a single organization for channel sales enablement and operations.

“Our mission is clear: to enable improved partner experiences, expand our sales distribution and revenue opportunities through new partnerships and drive incremental solutions to our direct sales customers,” Taccetta said.

TBI Senior Vice President of Operations Mike Onystok said he had been urging Verizon create a more unified experience between wireline and wireless.

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TBI’s Mike Onystok

“You shouldn’t be operating as two separate providers, even though they are kind of like two separate companies,” Onystok told Channel Futures. “But for the channel, [partners are saying], ‘Where do I go for this?’ Their announcement that they’re going to bring clarity to their program means really good things for advisors everywhere.”

“Whether you’re looking at Microsoft, whether you’re looking at AWS or Google… almost every company on the technology side has brought all partners under one umbrella,” said Jay McBain, principal analyst of channels, partnerships and ecosystems at Forrester. “They call it a global ecosystem. And, some of the big technology vendors today have over a dozen types of partners under that umbrella. We’re starting to see moves now in the telco space, especially by big carriers, that they’re starting to see the same ecosystem inside the decade of the ecosystem.”

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Forrester’s Jay McBain

McBain pointed to other large carriers, who are relying on agents, MSPs, VARs, system integrators and ISVs alike to solidify their future.

“They’re recognizing things like digital agencies and accountants, they’re recognizing all kinds of consultancies in different kinds of business,” continues McBain. “And again, there could be upwards of a dozen of them. As a partner, your business model may be different, but your support requirements from getting onboarded, educated, trained, and certified, build competencies, incentives, motivation, loyalty, co-selling co-marketing – all the elements that go into the program are actually the same in partnerships. No matter what kind of partner you are, the nuances are inside that model, but it should all be under the same 10.”

Pilot

Montgomery also said Verizon is running a pilot that gives channel partners ownership of certain Verizon accounts. He said the company has provided 100,000 leads to its channel in the last 16-18 months.

“We think you do a better job of providing that last mile set of services that our customers want,” he said.

Montgomery also called on partners to…… “embrace” Verizon’s brand.

“We want you to understand the way we work. Embrace your brand and our brand, because if you’ve heard nothing else from me, we’re a better group together,” he said.

Christopher Whitaker, Telarus‘ vice president of advanced solutions, IoT and wireless, expressed satisfaction with Telarus’ relationship with Verizon.

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Telarus’ Christopher Whitaker

“We have seen substantial growth with them and expect to see that continue,” Whitaker told Channel Futures. “Our mobility team works with them daily processing and following up on orders.”

Wireless Progress

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Telarus’ Whitney Andrea

Partners are reporting growth in their mobility sales. Onystok said TBI just finished its wireless sales quarter ever (in addition to its largest quarter with Verizon wireline). Whitney Andrea, Telarus director of mobility said her team recently processed the largest deal sold in the channel.

“Verizon has proven their commitment to supporting our partners,” Andrea said.

Allison Francis contributed to this report.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email James Anderson or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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