‘7 Minutes’ with Cytracom Vice President of Channel Eric Pinto



**Editor’s Note: “7 Minutes” is a feature where we ask channel executives from startups – or companies that may be new to the Channel Partners audience – a series of quick questions about their businesses and channel programs.**

Hosted VoIP and UC provider Cytracom is looking to help partners bring voice into the uptime and business-continuity discussion while proactively meeting customer quality-of-service (QoS) expectations. The company’s Ivie, or Integrated Voice Intelligence Engine, has two modules. The first is for voice continuity, to protect customers’ service uptime in the event of an interruption or disaster. MSPs can create voice-continuity policies and set trigger thresholds for when contingency plans should be launched.

The second module, Active Intelligence Monitoring, due in the second quarter, will analyze patterns in call data to detect anomalies and notify partners when intervention is needed, ideally before the customer notices there’s a problem. Partners can log in and view call-quality reports and share that info with customers. Here’s a rundown of how VARs and MSPs can succeed in the VoIP market.

Cytracom's Eric Pinto

Cytracom’s Eric Pinto

The company sells only through the channel and offers month-to-month pricing. A $27.95 per-seat monthly fee for companies with fewer than 30 employees includes the Ivie modules, the UC features you’d expect, phone hardware with integrated PoE (yes, desk phones are still relevant) and around-the-clock, U.S.-based support.

We spoke with channel chief Eric Pinto, who has been with Cytracom since October, about Ivie and the company’s commitment to the channel – including a tripling of the channel team in the past four months – and how it’s working to stand out from a crowded UCaaS field.

Channel Partners: Tell us what customers love about your product or service. What’s the secret selling sauce?

Eric Pinto: It’s “VoIP made simple.” Cytracom offers MSPs a VoIP platform built to meet the specific needs of the partner community. That uniquely positions us to provide a layer of access and control that our channel partners may not find elsewhere. Another key differentiator for us is the confidence and comfort our channel partners have in their relationships with our Cytracom team. They know we will always put them first to support both partner and end-user concerns and continue to innovate and develop tools that aid their voice experience.

Ivie is a great example of the innovation and enablement Cytracom is bringing to market. The first component of Ivie, voice-continuity policies, provides both our partners and end-users with peace of mind that they have a plan in the event of an Internet outage, that they will be able to quickly resume calls — and business.

CP: Describe your channel program — metal levels, heavy on certifications, open or selective, unique features? Do you work with masters and/or distributors?

EP: Our channel program is solely focused on the MSP channel. When we sign up a partner, we provide them with a free demo phone so they can become familiar with our solution and use it when they meet with customers. Additionally, we have a full range of online training for our partners to enable them to ramp up quickly when adding voice services to their portfolios. When the partner completes all of our training modules and becomes certified on our solution, they can sell Cytracom’s service with no contracts.

We recently ramped up our team to include channel-engagement managers who are focused on helping our partners get up to speed and productive quickly after coming on board. We also have …

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