Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Verizon Mobility-as-a-Service Shows Evolution of Channel

Verizon's cloud-based enterprise "Mobility-as-a-Service" now aims to offer mid-market and enterprise information technology managers a new way of adapting to the "consumerization of information technology" trend that has large numbers of people bringing their own devices and apps to work. 

Verizon's Mobility-as-a-Service also illustrates another change in the business information technology business, namely a shift of value within the channel partner space. In past decades, IT channel partners mostly made their money selling hardware and then fixing gear that broke. These days, that is a tougher proposition, and future success requires a shift to "value-added" activities. 

In March 2001, for example, Cisco changed its compensation to channel partners in ways that shifted from “volume” of sales to a “value” model. Under the new system, partners were rewarded for identifying opportunities for channel value-add; creating channel programs to enable channel value-ad and tying financial rewards to value-add channel activities.

That focus on "value add" arguably also applies in the traditional telecom channel partner space as well, one might argue. A shift in how technology is purchases also is a new factor. 

Some 90 percent of executives report their employees use their own devices and apps at work. That means there are new needs to protect sensitive data on both corporate-issued and employee-owned devices.

The new Verizon service will mean administrators can lock tablet, smart phone and PC devices, control them remotely, and wipe them of sensitive corporate data.

Additionally, Verizon's Mobility-as-a-Service, licensing on a per-user (rather than per-device basis), will include advanced Wi-Fi offload access so customers will be able to connect to more than 500,000 wireless hotspots around the world, provide corporate Wi-Fi directories across devices and use network data remotely.

Some might argue that services such as "Mobility-as-a-Service" allow Verizon and its channel partners to offer business customers a higher value service, something many believe the future channel will require. 

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