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Top Gun 51 Profile: Andy Dignan on Refocusing Five9 Partner Priorities

Top Gun 51 CP CF 2020 Main Colors

Two years ago, Andy Dignan left Cisco to join Five9, the cloud contact-center-as-a-service (CCaaS) provider. Tapped as SVP of professional services, Dignan was among several Cisco alums who decided to reunite with Rowan Trollope. Five9 had recruited Trollope, who led Cisco’s collaboration and applications group, to take over as CEO in May 2018. Less than a year after Dignan’s arrival, Five9 promoted him to SVP of global channels and services.

Andy Dignan of Five9

Five9’s Andy Dignan

Five9 began expanding its go-to-market efforts with the launch of a channel program in 2016. Dignan, a veteran of the contact center industry, has accelerated Five9’s channel to tap the growing shift to CCaaS.

Introduced last year, the Top Gun 51 recognizes premier leaders in the indirect IT and telecom channel. The criteria includes advocacy for the channel and commitment to partners’ business success. There’s also dedication to earning the channel’s trust.

Chosen by a panel of distributors, master agents and industry analysts for this year’s Top Gun 51 list, Channel Partners spoke with Dignan last week. The following are some highlights, edited for clarity.

Channel Partners: What has changed since joining Five9 two years ago?

Andy Dignan: When we joined two years ago, we were at $250 million in annual revenue with the goal to continue to grow the business with digestible growth, as our CFO says. We are on target for our growth aspirations, with much it fueled by our commitment to the channel and partners. When I joined the company, the channel and our partner go-to-market was just beginning to take off. In order for Five9 to go from a $250 million company to where we want to go, the only way to do that is to scale through strategic partnerships. That was a big reason why Rowan came to Five9 as our CEO, given his background in enterprise software, and brought in some additional leaders, including myself, on top of the amazing talent that was already here to help continue to scale the partner business.

Andy Dignan of Five9 is part of Channel Partners/Channel Futures’ 2020 Top Gun 51. This program recognizes today’s channel executives who build and execute channel programs that drive partner, customer and supplier success. See the full list.

Channel Partners: Where is it now?

AD: We need to accelerate the growth of our partner and channel business. If you look at our channel business, it includes our reseller business and our master agents. But I also have responsibility for our global systems integrators such as Deloitte, Accenture, etc. And then we also have our ISV partners, as well as our technology partners from an alliance perspective, like Google, Salesforce, ServiceNow, etc. If you look at our overall partner business, we’re tracking toward anywhere from 50-60% of our partners influencing sales. And overall, that’s a high percentage of our partner business. We’re just getting started in terms of scaling the channel business; however, the early results show that things are going well.

CP: What are some of the programmatic changes you have made?

AD: We realized that we needed to focus on partners who want to go deep with Five9 — essentially partners that could have an exponential effect on our customers’ experiences. The strategy was to double down on those partners willing to go all-in with Five9, and enable them to do what they do best. This is where we came up with our new XFactor partner programs — specifically built, not as a one-size-fits-all, but specific to …

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