New Vonage Channel Chief to Partners: ‘We’re Not a UCaaS-Only Play’


UCaaS transition

Channel veteran Curt Allen plans to accelerate the Vonage partner program when he takes the reins as channel chief next week.

Just weeks after Mario DeRiggi vacated the role, Vonage appointed Allen as its new channel chief. Last November, Allen stepped down from his role as Windstream Enterprise’s president of strategic channels and moved to an advisory role with the company.

Vonage's Curt Allen

Vonage’s Curt Allen

Allen emerged from retirement to become Windstream’s channel chief almost three years ago and initiated partner program changes after Windstream filed chapter 11 bankruptcy last year.

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Allen talks about why he is joining Vonage and his plans for the company’s partner program in the months ahead.

Channel Partners: Why did you want to take this position with Vonage?

Curt Allen: Vonage has experienced significant growth over the last year in channel sales, which is a critical component of the company’s go-to-market strategy. And we continue to invest in the channel leadership to keep this momentum going. I believe my experience in building and leading high-performing teams and go-to-market strategies that deliver sustainable growth in the channel, both as a partner and as a channel leader for a provider, gives me the unique experience to lead Vonage’s channel at this time of Industry inflection. That experience combined with the tremendous market opportunity presented by the Vonage Communications Services Platform, delivering an integrated, end-to-end communications suite, will complement our steadfast commitment to partners and help drive growth for the company.

We recently compiled a list of 20 top UCaaS providers offering products and services via channel partners.

From unified communications to contact centers, and the integration of video, voice, messaging, chat and verification into customers’ applications, products and workflows, Vonage is helping businesses accelerate their digital transformation. The company’s continued investment and considerable growth in the channel underscores this dedication. And I am looking forward to contributing to this ongoing success.

CP: What’s your take on Vonage’s channel strategy? Any changes needed?

CA: My predecessor made excellent progress in establishing Vonage as a channel-focused company. My job is to build on that success and accelerate our growth in the channel. I will be evaluating our engagement model to make sure we are maximizing our partner models strategically and tactically. My initial impressions are that I love the team and am very happy with the commitment the new leadership has to channel. If a change is needed, it would be to accommodate the changing marketplace.

Today, Vonage’s fully programmable unified communications and contact center applications are built from the Vonage platform and enable companies to transform how they communicate and operate from the office or anywhere, providing enormous flexibility and ensuring business continuity. The full potential of the Vonage platform is attractive to an entirely new type of partner. Partners that view us through an outdated legacy lens as a UcaaS-only play need to be educated, and that process is well underway. My job will be to make sure my team is supporting partners in the manner they need to drive revenue with us, and helping all partners understand the strength and breadth of the Vonage offering.

CP: How will your previous experience come into play in this new role?

CA: I’ve spent the last two decades of my career focused on the channel, both as a master agent and a leader of channel programs with large technology providers. Having spent a significant portion of my career on the partner side and on the provider side, I am in the unique position to …

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