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Although the current pandemic has put some face-to-face meetings on hold, Vonage’s ambition to grow the indirect business remains intact, with the vendor having big plans for 2020.
Spearheading the push to increase channel revenues and partner numbers is the recently appointed regional channel manager of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Vonage, Adam Wilson.
Wilson recently joined Vonage in the UK and is responsible for developing and managing its indirect channel across Europe. He joined the firm from Telstra, where he developed a channel business in the areas of connectivity, software-defined networks and unified communications as a service (UCaaS). Previous to Telstra, he managed enterprise mobility partnerships for Samsung UK.
Wilson’s first impressions of Vonage’s existing channel base have been positive, with partners already at the heart of the business.
“Vonage works hard with its partners to put collective customers at the heart of everything we do – from the development of our products and solutions to our sales, support and marketing frameworks,” he said.
Given the current situation, the firm is working hard to make sure partners are armed with the right tools to help customers struggling to deal with the Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown.
“As the movement towards a more distributed workforce continues to grow (especially given recent events), we’re central to that growth. Because of the flexibility of our platform, and the nature of our services, we are well-equipped to keep our own business running smoothly while we do the same for our customers,” he said.
“We’ve reached out to customers to provide guidance on how they can quickly and easily set up a remote workforce to ensure business continuity. By helping them to best leverage their Vonage service, our hope is that they will be armed and ready for their office to be anywhere – even if only for a short period of time – and our channel partners play an important role in achieving this outcome,” he added.
Another challenge for Wilson will be to keep the momentum in the UK channel going and to build on the launch the firm made to partners in November 2019, when it held its inaugural Vonage live event in London.
“We will continue to raise awareness throughout the year via face-to-face meetings (where possible), demonstrations and a series of virtual events. These are designed to start educating channel partners on our capabilities, how and why we’re successful and how we can help them achieve the same success,” he said.
“In parallel to this, we will develop a remote enablement programme across our three domains of unified communications, CRM-led [customer relationship management] contact centres and APIs [application programming interfaces] that allow businesses to create truly bespoke communications applications,” he added.
Wilson will also be busy this year with partner recruitment as the firm looks to expand its reseller base in the UK.
“We are fortunate to have been active in the US channel for a number years, so we will be working closely with our US partners looking to expand their business into the UK. At the same time, however, it’s imperative we forge close relationships with the channel partners who are already active in the UK market, so we will also be placing a heavy emphasis on this,” he said.
Because of the way Vonage works, it is well-placed to attract managed service providers (MSPs) that are looking to add voice services.
“Vonage offers subscription-based solutions to our customers, so we’re perfectly placed to provide subscription-based incentives and rewards to the partner channel. However, where partners were previously used to one-time CPE-based transactions, we now also have upfront incentives on offer,” he said.
“Because we own our tech stack, we’re well-placed to equip our partners with communication solutions that help businesses improve digital engagement with their customers. In doing so, we can enhance both customer and employee experience to create greater satisfaction and brand loyalty,” he added.
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