Tech Data, Cisco Offer VARs Easy Route to IP Communications

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print


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Tech Data has teamed up with Cisco and three voice and data providers to help VARs build complete IP communications solutions -- either hosted or on-site. 

Tech Data has teamed up with Cisco and three service providers to help VARs take advantage of lucrative voice and data service practice opportunities with SMB customers.

The distributor said Cisco will provide the voice and networking hardware and VARs will be able to resell voice and data services from providers Cbeyond, XO and Telovations to create recurring revenue streams, said Eric Buck, director of networking product marketing, Tech Data.

"Cisco, these three providers and Tech Data have developed product bundles around these voice and data services that our VAR partners can sell into the SMB end customer," said Chuck Bartlett, vice president of networking product marketing, Tech Data. The bundles include the option for VARs to offer on-site or hosted IP communications, and offer new market and revenue opportunities for VARs without taking on a heavy investment in equipment, education and training, said Bartlett .

Even if VARs already have a successful voice practice, setting up the infrastructure and the NOC necessary to offer voice and data service can be costly and time consuming, said Bartlett . Tech Data's relationships with Cisco and the three providers let VARs offer third-party voice and data services while retaining customer ownership and remaining the primary point of contact for customers, he said.

"They don't have to make the huge investment of time, energy and money, but they reap the benefits of these service practices for recurring revenues," said Bartlett . The agreement also offers a nearly foolproof upselling opportunity for VARs.

"What's the very next thing a customer's going to do after a VAR does all the installation and initial setup of their voice and data network? They're going to call a voice and data provider and arrange to have service connected. So why not give the VAR the ability to provide that service as well?" Bartlett said.

The voice and data services are available starting today to Tech Data's Cisco reseller partners, and are targeted for customers in the SMB market, said Buck.

Resellers deploying Cisco's Small Business Communications System can offer customers the Cbeyond BeyondVoice with SIPconnect bundle, which offers local and long distance voice, high-speed Internet and mobile services. 

Tech Data resellers looking for a managed voice solution can offer Telovations’ Innovate for Business Service and IP Phone Pack, which runs on an all-IP Cisco-powered network; and resellers using Cisco's Unified Communications Manager Express can bring their customers XO’s SIP Service that delivers converged voice and data services to businesses with IP-PBX systems.

Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.