RingCentral, New Chief Long, Eye Partnerships With Master Agents

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**Editor’s Note: Click here for a list of February’s important channel-program changes you should know.**

RingCentral, the business cloud communications provider, is striving to grow its channel partner program by developing additional relationships with telecom master agents.

RingCentral's Zane LongZane Long, newly appointed vice president of channel sales with RingCentral, said there are around 16 to 19 “true master agents” in the industry, though the company isn’t targeting all of them.

“We want to go a little more exclusive,” Long explained during an interview last week at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. “I’m pursuing what I consider the ones [that are] the best fit and the biggest in the industry, and we are going to go very deep rather than wide. We believe that kind of support and focus will garner more revenue for us.”

RingCentral has had a relationship with Sandler Partners, a telecom master agency, for four years. Long said Sandler Partners represents around 3,200 subagents. One subagent could represent five or more independent salespeople selling RingCentral service, he said.

“A subagent can be two or three people selling and can be a multimillion-dollar entity selling through the master agent,” explained Long, who has been managing national and international channel programs for the last 12 years.

Long said customer demand has been driving channel partnerships with RingCentral. {ad}

“If you think about a customer going to a subagent saying, ‘I want RingCentral service,’ the subagent takes it to a master agent, ‘you got to get a RingCentral contract.’ That’s been happening,” Long said. “That for us is very exciting to see the product resonating through the customer community and demand.”

Commenting on RingCentral’s partnerships, Long said, “We have got to get these partners to think RingCentral first.”

“We have got to have the … best educated channel managers, great compensation, great contracts, [and be] easy to do business with, what I call the fundamentals,” he added. “And if we do that, we’ll get more than our fair share.”

Long also noted Gartner has recognized RingCentral as a leader for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).

“It absolutely has helped us attract partners as well as larger customers to RingCentral,” he said.

Finally, Long said RingCentral has created a program that enables channel partners and the company’s direct sales force to work in a collaborative environment.

“We have a unique collaboration with our direct sales team, who we call our subject experts,” he explained. “And how that works is simple: For 50 users or more, one of our channel partners can bring that opportunity to us. We will assign a subject matter expert who will either assist or sell that deal completely on behalf of a partner.”

“The partner will receive full compensation and internally we keep everyone whole,” Long added. “It is the purest of channel harmony I’ve ever been associated with … Direct sales teams and the partner community are usually at some level of odds. Not here. We have solved that equation.”

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