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Verizon Discount Program May Undercut VARs

Verizon Business has put a new twist on an old tactic, one that can undercut network data and voice solution providers.

The recently developed Verizon Client Advantage Program (VCAP) gives customers credits that can be applied as rock-bottom discounts on complete Verizon network solutions that include the carrier's services, a plethora of hardware products to choose from and options such as managed network services and call-center and help-desk services, according to VCAP participants and solution providers who have lost bids to VCAP.

Verizon Business hasn't publicly announced VCAP, and information about the program isn't available on its Web site. A Verizon spokesman declined to elaborate, saying only that VCAP is "one of a number of large business incentive opportunities, the details of which are not published."

Pat Grillo, president of Atrion Communications Resources (ACR), a Branchburg, N.J.-based solution provider, said he learned of VCAP earlier this year when his company bid on a Juniper Networks router deal at Rutgers University, a current ACR client.

ACR was positioned to win the deal with a bid that was about $12,000 lower than other bids on the $300,000 to $400,000 project, Grillo said. ACR's bid included an extra discount on the Juniper products because it had registered the Rutgers opportunity in Juniper's deal-registration program, he said.

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