Telarus Expands CCaaS Team, Hires Allstream Alum


Cloud Contact Center

Telarus has bolstered its contact center and unified communications practices with a hiring and a promotion.

The master agent promoted Ray Hicken to vice president of strategic partnerships for contact center. Hicken, who worked at inContact for four years, will develop relationships with suppliers like his former employer, Talkdesk and 8×8.

Andrew Griffiths now serves as Telarus’ vice president of UCaaS and CCaaS business development. He’ll work with the company’s field sales team and vendor partners, while Hicken, formerly vice president of sales operations for contact center and UC, will devote more of his time to “enterprise-focused” partners.

Telarus' Ray Hicken

Telarus’ Ray Hicken

Hicken said in Tuesday’s announcement that different partners have different needs and may require different approaches. His new job commits him to helping Telarus’ top partners close their contact-center deals.

“While we’ve built incredible support teams and structure for all of our partners, it’s become apparent that there are two segments of this business,” Hicken said. “There [are] a growing number of deals in the small and midmarket segment where the decisions are made by departments and line-of-business managers, and we’ve built a great structure to help our partners win those deals. The enterprise segment of this industry requires focus, expertise and deep relationships.”

Here’s our list of channel people on the move in March.

Telarus CEO Edwards called the personnel moves a necessary step in the company’s evolution. The company will make additional investments in the contact-center space.

“We have built the best contact-center practice in the industry, and to keep growing and adding additional value for our partners, we need to provide focus and resources for our top partners in the contact-center space,” he said. “Ray knows this business better than anyone in the industry; he has helped several of our partners evolve their businesses into the contact-center space and has deep relationships with the top suppliers. We’ve come to realize that to give our partners everything they need at the top end of this market; we need to have a laser focus to help them win the large deals.”

Telarus' Ray Griffiths

Telarus’ Ray Griffiths

Perhaps the biggest component of the CCaaS push was the purchase of fellow Utah-based master agent CarrierSales, where Hicken worked as vice president of sales. CarrierSales was the first master to reach $1 million in monthly billing with inContact.

Andrew Griffiths has worked extensively on the vendor side. He did a six-year stint selling for Mitel and later for Integra. Integra later became Electric Lightwave, which Zayo bought two-and-a-half years ago. Griffiths went on to work for Allstream, which Zayo also bought. He most recently served as managing director of direct sales. He also did time on Allstream’s team of UC specialists.

Griffiths said the company will expand virtual engineering tools for the practices and increase educational content to help partners sell the technologies. He said Telarus’ focus on UCaaS and CCaaS is unmatched among master agents.

“They have invested heavily in their ‘specialty’ groups in recent years to help their sales partners sell new cloud communication technologies because [they] believe in providing leadership in the space,” he said. “These key resources make their sales partners appear bigger, makes them more credible, and enables them with an ability to close the big deals. I look forward to continuing this momentum and helping the group scale.”

Telarus recently hired Rich Goates as its in-house legal counsel.

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