**Editor's Note: Click here to see which channel people were on the move from November through January.**
The Oregon-based company has hired a new channel chief with an IT background, is rolling out new agent agreements and soon will deploy the MasterStream platform for its partners. The revamps come as Integra moves up-market, still serving SMBs but focusing its efforts on enterprises, state and local government, and education accounts.
First, Tom Weaver comes to Integra from Microsoft, where he oversaw unified communications, VoIP and cloud sales and marketing. He also worked for Nortel Networks for more than 10 years, responsible for enterprise and channel sales. At both Nortel and Microsoft, Weaver spent time on the direct and indirect sides but, he said, "channel programs are something I've been passionate about for many years." Still, he said in an exclusive interview with Channel Partners, there's nothing to be feared in indirect and direct teaming.
"I firmly believe that the more you can integrate a direct and channel program...the more we can develop a joint strategy and be more effective in reaching each others' goals."
Integra's similar philosophy, but its willingness to understand and work with partners' unique needs and business models, helped bring Weaver to the company. In fact, he sits next to the company's head of direct sales, a position that affords him the opportunity to hash out effective partnering techniques, he said.
"The more we can work on opportunities together, and in some cases divide and conquer, we're able to represent ourselves better in the market," he said.
However, Weaver made certain that the traditional attitude of direct sales getting final say would not apply, before he accepted his new role as vice president of the indirect channel.
"My interest in getting full commitment from [Integra's CEO and sales vice president] was knowing that was not going to be the case. Obviously I heard the answers I was looking for."
At press time, Integra's sales leaders were refining the rules of engagement. Direct and indirect teaming will be decided with each deal; it will not be enforced automatically.