There’s no break for John DeLozier, who spent his last day as channel chief at CenturyLink on Friday, jumping in feet first as 8×8‘s new global channel chief on Monday. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I ‘grew up’ implementing [various companies’] unified communications, collaboration and contact-center solutions all over the world for the biggest names, and all we’re doing now is putting them in the cloud,” DeLozier told Channel Partners. So it’s really what I know, really where I’m from. I couldn’t be more super-excited to go to market again with these solutions [at 8×8].”
DeLozier spent more than two years as vice president at CenturyLink, where he and the channel team there performed a major overhaul of the telco giant’s partner program, offering tiers for the first time. His other career stops have included Arrow S3, Cross Telecom and Unify. At 8×8, he’ll be reunited with Bill Corbin, his former boss at CenturyLink, who is the senior vice president of channels and alliances at the communications provider.
DeLozier comes to 8×8 during a time of significant success and growth for the company. It’s been a leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for UCaaS six years’ running. It just reported a 19 percent year-over-year jump in revenue for the company’s recently concluded fiscal year. Service revenue from midmarket and enterprise customers was up 29 percent over that same time period.
DeLozier wants partners to get an increasing share of that pie.
“We have more than 130 patents and basically own our IP. So we’ve got a vaunted cast of development personnel … the hard part is getting to that point,” he said. “The easy part is getting the word out to our partner community and make sure they’re able to maximize the program and put money in their pockets.”
A big part of DeLozier’s legacy at CenturyLink will involve the ongoing integration of Level 3 Communications, which the company bought last year. He told us in April he believed the integration process “turned the corner since January and the partner community has really responded well to it.” Garrett Gee, who served as a co-channel chief with DeLozier, remains in his role as vice president, indirect channels; for now, CenturyLink says DeLozier’s responsibilities fall to his former boss, Lisa Miller, president of wholesale, indirect channels and alliances. DeLozier’s title was VP, strategic partners and alliances.
“[8×8] made me an offer I couldn’t refuse,” DeLozier told us.
Look for Channel Partners’ full Q&A with him later this week.