**Editor’s Note: Read our list of 20 top UCaaS providers offering products and services via channel partners.**
Channel Partners recently caught up with a pair of Sprint execs who hold some responsibility for the carrier’s channel success in the years to come.
Scott Valentine, sales director for the Sprint Partner Program, and Sasha Gorman, vice president of Sprint’s Smart Communications product line, sat down with Channel Partners’ Craig Galbraith and Kevin Morris for an episode of their podcast, Coffee with Craig and Kevin. What follows is the transcript from our chat.
The transcript has been edited for length and clarity. To listen to our full conversation, click here.
Kevin Morris: Sprint had a big presence at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in the spring. I understand you’re rebranding your whole indirect channel. Can you give an update on what your partners can expect?
SV: I tell agents all the time we’re a startup in a big corporation; part of that’s been because we’ve had different indirect channels for different lines of business. Two years ago, we were kind of in preservation mode with our program … maybe smaller investments, or each group would invest in their own things like channel partners in an effort to remain relevant on the wireline side. We were at the same time beefing up all of our access equipment on the wireline side, and also exiting the legacy voice business, so there’s been a lot going on in our business unit. This year, working with your team [at Channel Partners], we’ve had a nice presence at [the] Channel Partners [Conference & Expo] in 2018 and we’re planning for 2019. … And we’ll be attending your Channel Partners Evolution in Philadelphia [Oct. 9-12].
I tell partners that, again, Sprint is a big brand. Everybody recognizes our name. The last couple years, it’s been really important to align our channel with the corporation. You see different companies making different decisions all the time with the channel. But we’ve been trying to align this. Dave Falter, our channel chief, has been a strong leader in this regard to make sure we have a long career in the channel and that we’re building as a channel player. I think that’s what everyone wants. I know that’s what the partners and agents want. That’s what we want here as well. As far as rebranding … because of that alignment and that we’ve been able to bring the different business units together, we’re going to have one marketing wrapper for the program going forward. That’s going to be the Sprint Partner Program; I think it kind of speaks for itself, but that will be for all lines of business.
Craig Galbraith: I understand you have a “sell-with” program where you link channel-partner representatives and the Sprint direct sales teams? How does that work?
SV: Let’s face it; many times a channel partner and a carrier are selling against each other. But if the partner has a value prop[osition] and our direct teams see one plus one equals three, then the channel becomes a force multiplier working with our direct team. We all know the channel has reach and relevance with customers, so once they have an approved teaming registration, we will …