8×8 Expands Channel Program, Signs Telarus

8×8, the unified communications as a service provider, is expanding its international channel program in multiple ways.

The company announced a new partner portal, educational and certification opportunities and several new partners — including master agent Telarus.

8x8's Carlos Roman“We’ve really doubled down in terms of commitment over to the channel, and it’s been very exciting to see the acceleration of the growth,” said Carlos Roman, 8×8’s head of global partner marketing.

In an effort to follow the industry shift from on-premises to the cloud, the “Channel 2.0″ program added a new portal that 8×8 said will give partners better automation and self-service. The PartnerConnect portal helps partners with sales, marketing and deal-registration opportunities.

“It’s going to make a more frictionless experience in working with 8×8,” Roman said.

8×8 said it has signed with contact-center provider Great Outcomes, the UC provider LANtelligence and the managed service provider  PERRY proTECH.

“We’re seeing a great diversity in the types of partners, and the types of partners are all having success as we expand our channel programs with each of these different segments of partners,” Roman said.{ad}

And the biggest new partner to note is Telarus, which will distribute 8×8’s unified communications and contact-center services.

“Together with 8×8, we will address the needs of those businesses who have relied on selling on-premises communications systems by providing more secure, reliable and cloud-based solutions,” said Adam Edwards, co-founder and CEO at Telarus. “8×8’s extensive influence and reach in the Enterprise Communications as a Service market will go a long way in helping our partners navigate their business to the cloud.”

Roman said partners will now be able to access 8×8 Academy, a university-style curriculum, and become certified in 8×8’s Virtual Contact Center and Virtual Office.

“For the first time, we’re allowing our partners to become certified to be able to do their own deployments of the 8×8 service, as well as take ongoing support calls. Our partners can bring and build their own support deployment practice on their side, be able to make the margin, be able to add the value to services that they’ve been wanting,” he said.

He said the changes addressed partner feedback that asked for more autonomy, in addition to training and enablement.

“We have not subscribed to the ‘give a man a fish’ mentality, but we’ve really wanted to teach a man how to fish,” he said.

8×8 last month announced study results that highlighted the trend of contact centers moving to the cloud.

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