Polycom Makes Changes to Choice Partner Program

Polycom Inc., which makes a range of customer premises equipment, has made some changes to its Choice partner program, which launched last year.

First, theres a new strategic alliance with companies including Microsoft, HP, Avaya, Juniper and IBM, said Maurizio Capuzzo, Polycoms vice president of global channel marketing. The Open Collaboration Network with these software and hardware makers is enabling more UC options for enterprises and SMBs, Capuzzo said. Other benefits include the ability to integrate Polycoms high-definition technology across different carriers without disruption for the end user. Thats especially key as video endpoints make up 57 percent of UC deployments, according to statistics compiled from various research firms.

Polycoms other changes have a more direct impact on VARs and dealers. The company has aligned its sales, marketing and technical support staff for partners, and introduced a new telesales group for authorized partners. Gold and platinum partners have their own dedicated support. Polycom also wants to encourage partners to become more specialized when it comes to infrastructure and endpoints, whether thats video, telepresence, VoIP, wireless or UC. To foster such growth, Polycom has boosted the financial incentives for different program levels, increased margins for deal registration and, depending on the program level, bolstered the number of sales leads available to partners.

When it comes to compensation, specifically, Polycom has ratcheted up the quarterly rebates it will pay. Gold partners who commit to generating at least $1 million per year in revenue will earn half a point to one point more per quarter, while platinum partners who invest even more in running their Polycom businesses and must bring in a minimum of $5 million in new sales annually will take home 1-3 percent more each quarter. Partners who understand the technical ins and outs of UC, such as its total cost of ownership, and how it works with instant messenger platforms or Microsoft Lync, for example, reap more rewards, said Capuzzo.

Its not just about selling point-to-point video,” he said.

The overall aim of the changes to the Polycom Choice partner program is to keep it simple, predictable and more profitable for our partners,” said Deandra Cassidy, Polycoms director of global channel marketing.

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