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

Top Gun 51 CP CF 2020 Main Colors

… the various partner personas. In addition to Steve Plunkett who runs our global systems integrator partnership, and Walt Rossi, who leads our tech alliances and ISVs, we brought in Jake Butterbaugh, [VP of channel sales], to execute our balanced route-to-market strategy. This meant continuing to double down on our master agent and referral partners while also scaling through some top solution providers and integrators like AT&T and CDW, to name a couple. We are executing on that strategy, and the response from the channel and partner community has been amazing.

CP: What key partnerships have raised Five9’s profile in the partner community?

AD: If you look at some of our partnerships, we have always had a mix of master agents, resellers, SIs and solution providers. The key difference on how we raised our profile within this community is really about three key areas of focus: 1) making sure Five9 is aligned at the executive level with our partners; 2) working closely with their sales teams (whether it be direct sales or subagents); and 3) investing more in our systems, processes and marketing efforts to help make it easier for them to do business with Five9. That is why our partner community has grown exponentially with the likes of global partners from Avant, Telarus, AT&T, Deloitte, CDW, CallTower, Exactive, Nuveto, Babble and many more from around the world.

CP: When the pandemic struck this year, how did that affect your momentum?

AD: A lot of customers were prepared more than others, especially on the UC side, because they were able to send knowledge workers home and they were already equipped to work remotely. But for a lot of customers, specifically in the CCaaS arena, it’s a lot more complex. If you’re going to send agents to go work from home, you need to be sure that the business has a solid network to provide high-quality voice calls so agents can handle calls remotely. We saw pretty rapid growth of customers coming to us that had been previously on the fence, now wanting to move their contact center to the cloud essentially overnight. We had customers asking, “How fast can you turn up 1,000 agents? Can you do it in a weekend?”

CP: Was there anything you needed to do to enable your partners to address this sudden demand?

AD: We had to go into overdrive in terms of enabling our partners to either a) accelerate helping them to do that on their own, or b) leverage the resources that Five9 has internally to help them help their customers. We had all hands on deck. When opportunities came in from partners, we would just put together a tiger team and do whatever it took to help get their customers happy.

CP: Last month you announced VoiceStream for partners and systems integrators. What do they need to know about that?

AD: VoiceStream is really exciting because it’s something that has existed in the on-prem world. It can tap into live voice streams, anything that was coming into a customer’s environment from their service providers. But when you get into cloud, obviously, the voice streams can be coming from a lot of different areas. Partners are going to be able to build applications on top of the Five9 platform to leverage real-time voice for things like call recording, and the Five9 AI platform can assist the agents with improving the customer’s experience with suggestions or simply making their workflow more automated.

CP: Where are you in creating the ecosystem for this?

AD: We’ve announced the API. We have a handful of beta customers that are now live with quite a few use cases across health care and in the financial vertical. We’ll be sharing more in terms of who those customers are and what the use cases are over the coming quarters.

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