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Poly Partner Program Combines Best of Polycom and Plantronics

Partner Program

Poly on Tuesday unveiled a new partner program that combines the best of the old Polycom and Plantronics programs under one umbrella.

The global program features a new unified portal with real-time access to all assets, training, tools and content. Plantronics acquired Polycom in 2018 and the company then rebranded as Poly.

Nick Tidd, Poly’s vice president of global channel sales, tells Channel Partners his company took the best of both programs. It also evaluated its tools and asked partners what they needed to grow their business. With the new program, Poly can scale its partners based on more than just revenue as a measurement, he said.

“Essentially, we are not taking a paint roller approach in that you don’t paint the channel with a roller, but paint them with a paintbrush,” he said. “You need to understand the different partner types … and we’ve looked at how end users want to procure our product. That in itself helps you understand that different reseller types bring different value to the portfolio.”

Here’s our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.

The new Poly program brings together more than 15,000 global Plantronics and Polycom partners.

Nick Tidd

Poly’s Nick Tidd

“The Plantronics program was purely a revenue-based model with a couple of certifications. And it only had two partner types,” Tidd said. “Headsets is a complex sale. You have to understand the environment and the workflow you’re putting them into, and so it’s that transfer of knowledge. So when we moved it into the single program, we said, ‘Let’s bring the expertise into the program and let’s recognize those partners that have built very successful businesses on providing headsets to the market.'”

On the other hand, Plantronics’ deal registration program was much easier to manage than Polycom’s was, he said.

“I clearly wanted to make sure that a partner at the top tier of the Plantronics program got that same treatment when they came into the new program, and we did the same on the Polycom side,” Tidd said. “They’re not losing anything; in fact, they’e gaining simplicity, consistency, predictability and flexibility in the new program.”

The program offers a single source for deal registration, performance dashboards and a real-time scorecard to track partner standing.

The new Poly partner portal, launching on April 10, will replace Polycom Partner Connect and Plantronics Plantro.net.

Recon Research's Ira Weinstein

Recon Research’s Ira Weinstein

Poly University will help partners satisfy certification and specialization requirements. A certification program provides individual sales and presales training in various product and service categories.

“Many vendor channel programs focus on revenue only, which naturally favors large players over small ones,” said Ira Weinstein, founder and managing partner at analyst firm Recon Research. “This new program levels the playing field by rewarding partners for investments they make in working with Poly, not just the number of devices they sell. Poly’s new partner portal and related support tools will help partners stay up-to-date and differentiate themselves in this fast-paced market.”


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