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Verizon Enterprise Solutions on the hunt for solution sellers

In the ongoing contest to catch the vendor's eye the data channel players are more attractive than those sticking with a telco silo

The battle between the voice and data channel communities has been raging for years with both claiming to have specific knowledge of technology that the other group lacks, which is meant to put them in pole position with the suppliers and customers.

Telco experts have been encouraged to understand the network more and data players have been asked to brush up on their knowledge of VoIP systems and some of the more technical aspects of unified comms.

Trying to work out who is better placed is a contest that has often come out in favour of the data specialists because of their knowledge of the network and ability to bring in other skills, including security and storage.

Listening to Verizon Enterprise Solutions it is also clear that the reason the data experts are so coveted is because the customer is keen to work with a supplier capable of delivering a solution.

"People don't want to be in an 'and' situation where they work with a telco partner and a security specialist and a Microsoft partner," said Janet Schijns, vp global channels at Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

The firm is looking to build its channel in the UK and although it currently operates a single tier modelm interacting directly with resellers, the plan is to look to work with distribution potentially later this year.

Schijns said that it had developed a partner programme that it felt was attractive to partners offering decent margin levels and training that resellers could take advantage of without having to fork out for the priviledge.

Chris Dickson, executive client partner, EMEA Channels at Verizon Enterprise Solutions, said that it did not want to be greedy with partners but wanted to make sure it had decent geographical and vertical market coverage.

"We are working with the classic telecoms resellers that have BT and Colt exoertise and we are going after those guys but where there is more interest and traction is with the reseller selling the whole IT stack," he said.

"We have half a dozen active partners and we want to make sure we have all the infrastructure and support and it was ready to go," he added.

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