Syniverse has been a long time direct player, selling secure access to carriers and mobile operators, but have expanded into the enterprise markets, and brought in Bill Corbin to put the channels strategy together.
Syniverse, which has built out an extensive private network for bridging mobile ecosystems, and provides Secure Global Access protection to its customers, has appointed technology veteran Bill Corbin to the new role of senior vice president of indirect markets and strategic partnerships. He will report to Syniverse CEO and President Dean Douglas, who he worked under at both CenturyLink and at Westcon.
Syniverse’s global network processes 6 petabytes of data daily, reaching 7 billion mobile devices and processing 4 billion billable transactions a day. They are not that well-known in the channel however, because they built up that business on a direct model.
“Syniverse has been around for decades, largely as a direct business,” Corbin said. “Traditional service providers, carriers and mobile operators have been the customer set. It was a fairly finite customer base. We pretty much own the technology that we sell from a patent registration standpoint, which gives us some separation with our competitors. Security is a key. Our tagline of the last six months has been ‘the world’s most connected company.’ And it is. We provide secure access to billions of mobile devices around the word. We own the network. It’s inherently safe. A lot of messaging platforms go over insecure networks.”
The channel came in because of new opportunities around messaging platforms.
“A couple of years ago, Syniverse made the decision that an enterprise play was required in order to capture the messaging platforms that have entered the market,” Corbin said. “Enter the channel. Syniverse has an interest here not just expanding to messaging platforms, but also to the Internet of Things.”
The real enterprise play really started to take place about a year ago, and Syniverse began to work with partners, but it has been a very ad hoc process to date – something that Corbin has been brought in to address.
“The channel today is a one-size-fits-all approach.” Corbin said. “It doesn’t have a firm definition around an engagement model. It is sell to, sell through, and sell with. The majority of partners today are systems integrators, like PWC, Tech Mahindra, CapGemini and IBM, who integrate our product into a final offering.”
The plan is to build out a channel network in a systematic fashion.
“We will have very clearly defined swimlanes, and systems integrators will be one of the big ones,” Corbin said. “Master Agents will be a smaller channel, and speciality and smaller solution providers will be another. When I first came, I thought this might be a little too complex for the Master Agent channel. I’ve shifted on that now that I’m a few weeks in. There are master agents out there who will be a really good fit. Not all will be. It will be those who are engaged in more complex selling than others around secure global access or messaging platforms. There’s a good play for the right Master Agent.”
Most of Syniverse’s business has been in North America, and Canada is a big market for them. Corbin also intends to use the channel to expand Syniverse’s presence globally.
“The channel will be worldwide,” he said. “There hasn’t been a big channel orientation outside North America currently, but we will define what it looks like, and acquire the right type of partner who can provide the right value.”
There isn’t a formal channel program at present.
“It’s still ad hoc,” Corbin said. “We will build a program that’s attractive to the channel for an engagement model. It is not in place yet, but there won’t be that much heavy lifting.
Similarly, Corbin acknowledged that the basics of the channel mechanics are still being designed.
“We are nailing down referral margins and commissions, but margins will be healthy,” he noted. “It’s not a thin margin business. We are also a differentiator. There’s not a plethora of companies who are similar in the indirect markets, in terms of providing secure global access. There’s not a whole lot of that out there.”
Corbin thinks that distribution is likely at some point.
“We think there is a play for distribution,” he said. “That’s my legacy. As distribution pivots and reinvents itself around the Internet of Things, secure global access becomes a big play for them. I’m meeting with a couple of North American distributors. I don’t want us overdistributed, but as some distributors are pivoting their business, I think it’s a really good play for them.”