New, Changing Channel Programs: 8×8, Avant, HPE


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Technology companies are leaning into the indirect sales channel.

IT and telecommunication companies are committing more money than ever to support their channel programs. Cox-owned RapidScale hired yet another partner experience manager last month, and Avatara said its recent funding round will help expand its channel. HPE is pushing to give its partners “equal footing” with the rest of its sales organization.

Businesses were working hard to appeal to MSPs last month. Bigleaf Networks launched a program specific to MSPs, and D&H Distributing started an initiative to teach its partners how to sell managed services.

We assembled our favorite 12 stories about new or enhanced channel programs from June. Take a look to see the monthly recap.

Missed last month’s gallery? Here is our May edition.


The UCaaS company unveiled a new program to help master agents and subagents tailor their marketing programs.

8x8 collected feedback from its partners over the previous six months to build the new Elev8 Partner Program. Its features include a channel pipeline generation initiative, account planning and co-branded prospect events.

Get details about the Elev8 program.

Avant Communications enhanced and renamed its "IT decision-making" app.

The Chicago-based master agent now calls the BattleApp “Pathfinder" and has changed it in four key ways. The changes include a knowledge base with hundreds of technical notes about vendors. The updates will help partners better assess which technology products fit their customers' needs.

Avant unveiled the changes at its 10th annual Special Forces Summit.

Don't miss our image gallery from the event.

The Oregon-based vendor rolled out an MSP program designed to provide "practical" SD-WAN to SMB customers.

The Bigleaf Global MSP Partner Program includes education, and sales and marketing resources. Bigleaf's founder told us that MSPs prefer an SD-WAN solution like Bigleaf's that deploys outside of their preferred firewall.

"Most SD-WAN products are out of touch with the unique needs of MSPs," Joel Mulkey said.

Read more about Bigleaf's MSP unit.

HPE launched its new HPE Sales Pro Community, designed to give partners equal access to company resources.

Executives at the HPE Global Partner Summit announced a sweeping list of updates to the company's collaborative communities. The idea is to "equal the footing between its indirect and direct sales teams."

It's all quite broad-sounding. Lynn Haber, our resident HPE expert, breaks it down.

Zoom Video Communications added several new perks for qualifying partners.

The company's channel programs now include partner qualifications courses and an expanded library in the partner portal. Zoom also said it has expanded overall support for its partners. The vendor furthermore added a new program for marketing development funds (MDF).

Read about the update.

Aerohive Networks introduced a new partner portal with the goal of "better serving channel affiliates and streamlining business transactions."

Automated onboarding, real-time visibility and analytics are a few features of the new portal, which is based on Salesforce Partner Communities. Aerohive partners advised the company on how to improve the portal.

The news came a couple of weeks before Extreme Networks announced its purchase of Aerohive.

Edward Gately has the scoop.

The video conferencing and collaboration provider expanded its channel program to accommodate the company's merger with Videxio.

The three-tier program includes Pexip's full solution portfolio and offers higher discounts to partners that register opportunities. Pexip said it has more than 300 channel partners.

Pexip and Videxio had been partnering with each other up until last fall, when they decided to officially join forces.

Learn more about the program expansion.

The Cox Business-owned company has been bulking its partner support staff.

Craig Leddy reported that the managed cloud services provider has added four partner experience managers in the last three months. They cover the Northwest, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and West regions, respectively.

Cox bought RapidScale last spring.

The details are on the third page of Leddy's cable column.

The cloud computing and cloud services provider plans to improve its partner program following a $10 million funding round.

Avatara's CEO told us that his company will enhance lead generation, training and sales support for its partners. The company sells entirely through the channel. Avatara offers sales reps to do the work of pitching to customers.

Our article recaps the changes we expect to come to Avatara's channel program.

The secure payments provider to contact centers unveiled a program for a wide variety of partners.

The three-level program includes carriers, VARs, payment providers, CCaaS and UCaaS vendors, and service providers. Members can sign up as a referral partner, solution provider partner or integrated partner.

PCI Pal’s chief revenue officer told Edward Gately that the company is addressing the “differing needs of our partners."

Read more about PCI Pal.

The cognitive cybersecurity analytics vendor rolled out a new program to help partners resell the its platform.

The company said the program includes systems integration, consulting and strategic partnerships, but an executive told us that MSSPs are an additional component. 

“MSSP partners have unique requirements, particularly in how clients are managed and have requirements for the complete suite of compliance apps we provide," he told us.

Learn more about how Elysium meets those needs.

D&H Distributing introduced a new initiative to bring its partners into recurring revenue, by branching into managed services and cloud services.

The company said it added eight new sales folk to help partners pivot. Partners can also access new training and education resources that will teach them how to construct new sales platforms and compensation strategies.

"It’s our role to help our resellers and VARs understand how they can become an MSP and build a practice around recurring revenue," the company's co-president told Channel Futures.

Todd Weiss covered the story.

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