Lifesize, the video unified collaboration vendor, is moving from a buy-sell payment model to a commission-based agent model — impacting how its U.S. partners get paid. Lifesize has no plans to change how its partners in the rest of the world are paid.
The vendor also announced that it named Synnex, it’s largest global distributor, as a new master agent, and Connection, a service provider, as the first agent under the restructured relationship with Synnex.
“In our new model, we’re shifting to an agency play. I now hold the paper with the customer and I’m the one assuming the customer risk,” Tim Maloney, senior vice president, worldwide channels at Lifesize, told Channel Partners. “Partners are excited. I can now guarantee margins for our partners. Suddenly, I become a very lucrative but also ‘forecastable’ revenue stream.”
Under the new arrangement, partners operating through Synnex and other Lifesize master agents get commissions on meeting room system hardware, including Lifesize Rooms-as-a-Service, as well as upgrades, cloud video conferencing service licenses and renewals. Lifesize will assume product positioning and opportunity management, allowing master agents and agents to focus on business development, partner recruitment, product implementation, and providing value-added services.
The vendor will do a phased roll out of the new payment model to U.S.-based distributors, resellers and managed service providers (MSPs) beginning on March 1.
“We have valued working hand in hand with Lifesize to successfully promote the adoption of video communication across many market segments and geographies,” said TJ Trojan, senior vice president of product management, North America at Synnex. “This latest evolution in our relationship gives our U.S. resellers and MSPs even greater consistency, shorter deal cycles and tremendous upside in selling Lifesize technology.”
Why the change?
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The agency model is prevalent in the U.S., and less so in Asia and Europe, according to Maloney. Additionally, there’s been more demand from U.S. partners to move to an agency model and Synnex, in particular, has led the push for the change.
Other U.S. distributors include Jenne and ScanSource. Going forward, Lifesize master agents in the U.S. include Synnex, Jenne, ScanSource and Intelisys.
Maloney said that what differentiates Lifesize from its competitors is its flexibility, combining cloud-based video conferencing services with integrated equipment. Gartner, in 2019, recognized Lifesize as a visionary in its Magic Quadrant for Meeting Solutions.
More than 65% of Lifesize revenue is generated outside of the U.S. The company has a 100% channel-led model is all geographies except the U.S, where Lifesize works directly with a small number of key clients.
The vendor has about 5,000 partners globally —more than 75 distributors, including 3,500 resellers and potential agents in the U.S.