ShoreTel Inc. has invited its dealers to sell the hosted services of its new cloud business unit formed by the March acquisition of M5 Networks, according to Keith Nealon, M5 chief revenue officer, who spoke to Channel Partners at the Spring 2012 Channel Partners Conference & Expo just three days after the deal was finalized.
The combination of the two companies’ channels was viewed as a potential strength of the pairing, particularly in driving sales of M5’s cloud-based services.
Nealon said ShoreTel partners would be able to sell the M5 hosted services by signing an addendum to their existing ShoreTel partner agreement, outlining the compensation terms. Partners have access to training but presently no certification on the M5 services is required.
Nealon said the reciprocal campaign — inviting M5 channel partners to sell ShoreTel — will be forthcoming. However, the requirements to sell ShoreTel are more strict and include certification.
Nealon said partners are under no obligation to sell both ShoreTel’s hosted and on premises offers. However, he claimed there is strong interest among ShoreTel’s legacy partners to sell the cloud services. While ShoreTel is stronger in 5,000 seats and above and M5 is stronger in the sub-100 market, Nealon said both have good value proposition for the 100-1,000 seat market, which is typically defined as small and medium businesses.
M5’s legacy channel includes a mix of VARs, systems integrators, distributors and agents. At the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, it announced a new agreement with master agency MicroCorp. Nealon said there were additional master agency relationships pending.