eZuce, the open source unified communications vendor, has introduced a formal channel program just two months after its own launch.
The EZ Partner Program provides channel partners with access to eZuce openUC solutions as well as training and support, said Dave Grazio, vice president of product management at eZuce. The three-tiered program closely aligns with the company’s product offerings for SMBs through large enterprises.
The lowest tier, the EZ Expert Program, is for partners with a strong focus in the SMB marketplace. Grazio expects this tier to have the largest number of partners, given the fact that most are professionals who have used the technology since SIPfoundry was started in 2004. Much of eZuce’s technology is based on open source development through the SIPfoundry community, and eZuce was actually founded by SIPfoundry creators Martin Steinmann and Jerry Stabile.
The second tier, the EZ Pro Program, is designed for partners with focus in the mid- to large-enterprise marketplace interested in providing an open alternative to vertically integrated single vendor solutions. The highest tier, the EZ Elite Program, is aimed at partners who have experience managing large enterprise deployments and are interested in collaborating with eZuce strategic alliance partners to deliver advanced open UC solutions.
“We tried to structure the program for partners based on their model and their go-to-market strategy," Grazio said. “It’s structured so it aligns pretty closely with our products."
Partners in the program have access to resources such as deal registration, online training and certification, sales tools, customer case studies, newsletters, Webinars, and product literature. Most importantly, Grazio noted, was the training and support that the program offers – something resellers of the technology were looking for.
“Partners now have access to formal training, access to curriculum and front-line support," in an environment more practical and useful than the online communities, Grazio said. “We can provide them with tools they need and programs like our training so they can get certified and provide that support. We can give them the knowledge and skill set because that is what customers are asking of them.
“What we have on the wiki is good, but it might not have satisfied the needs they have," he added.
Each level of the program has different requirements, and Grazio noted that as partners move higher up the ladder their requirements increase but so do their benefits. Plus, Elite and Pro partners have the ability to earn 11 percent and 9 percent, respectively, in rebate incentives. “We have pretty healthy margins and we’re only providing the software solution; our partners are providing the hosted or managed services and the hardware, not to mention the support," Grazio said. “There is some good money available on the table for them to earn."