CHANNEL PARTNERS CONFERENCE & EXPO — RingCentral (booth #4011 and a Premier Sponsor) now has recruited all 17 master agents it has targeted with its latest partnership — MicroCorp. Now it’s setting its sights on national channel partners and those of its competitors.
That’s according to Zane Long, RingCentral’s senior vice president of global channel sales. He gave us an update on his company’s channel strategy Wednesday at the Channel Partners Conference and Expo. RingCentral works with distributors, master agents and carrier partners to deliver UC&C offerings to global enterprises.
“We had a strategy to recruit the master agents, which in my opinion there are 17 of them, and I’ve grown up with them over the past 17 years,” Long said. “MicroCorp is a terrific master agency and that really concludes the recruitment of master agents.”
Karin Fields, MicroCorp’s CEO, said her partners are seeing a “massive shift in the midmarket and enterprise segment where companies are demanding cloud-based communications solutions as they look to enable greater mobility, agility and interoperability across their organizations.” With RingCentral, MicroCorp will help channel partners bring cloud communications and collaboration offerings to enterprise customers, aimed at allowing customers to streamline business workflow and improve overall worker productivity.
“As the industry-recognized leader in global cloud communications, RingCentral is best poised to address the communications and collaboration needs of enterprises worldwide, and we’re thrilled to add them to our product portfolio,” she said.
Long said 2017 was the year of the master agent and this year RingCentral is going after national partners, which by definition is the opposite of a master agent.
“A master agent is an aggregator of carrier contracts with a subagent community selling through where they also aggregate those commissions,” he said. “A national partner would be like a SHI, a CDW, one of those types of companies that employ their own direct sales reps. A direct sales rep who sells through a national partner sells a lot of different products so we have to handle them differently. So I have two divisions inside RingCentral that manage this new strategy of national partners.”
RingCentral is talking to the largest national partners globally, Long said.
“We have been able to attract partners to our program with what’s happening with RingCentral with the product offering, certainly with what the market of UCaaS is and the channel program that we’ve developed here that causes our partners to want to work with us and to think RingCentral first,” he said.
RingCentral’s strategic partner recruitment momentum continued through the first quarter, and every partner it recruits has its own customer base, “and in some cases huge, tens of thousands of customers,” Long said.
“When we focus on partners like ShoreTel-Mitel, Avaya and Cisco partners that are looking for a new future with the transformation from premises-based to the cloud, those partners need a place to be able to serve their customers who are asking for UCaaS, so that’s a strategy that we’re deploying as well,” he said. “And when you add those partners to your organization, they come with customer bases and that means qualified leads that we can go out and close.”
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