Mark Carrel - stock.adobe.com
Cloud communications player RingCentral has become the latest to discuss the merits of the master agent approach, although the firm is making some concessions with the way it operates the model in the UK.
Earlier this week, RingCentral named Telarus as its latest master agent in the UK, adding to a list that already includes Westcon, Intelisys and Nuvola.
Lisa Del Real, vice-president for global partner programmes at RingCentral, said the model was taking some time to gain wide acceptance.
“Although some of the more seasoned channel players are still to see the long-term value of the master agent model in the UK, we have been operating with this approach with great success for several years,” she said.
To make sure things run smoothly, the firm has make some adaptations to tailor the offering for the UK market.
“It makes sense for the master agent model to operate slightly differently in the UK than in the US. In the UK, it must be rolled out in a way that complements the unique, local environment. As such, we tend to work directly with our master agents, and their sub-agents, to ensure that they are fully supported in closing a deal, while customers can have direct access to leaders in the UCaaS (unified communications-as-a-service) market,” she said.
“Despite being a rarity in the UK, we’ve been seeing success with this model for several years now. It provides a quick go-to-market option, which serves to offer customers best-of-breed solutions – especially when it comes to cloud-based communications. That said, we are well aware that in the UK master agents are still proving their value to many partners,” she added.
Lisa Del Real, RingCentral
Avaya has also recently discussed the agency model, sharing the view that it is starting to gain more ground in the UK. Distribution has also signalled that it too is prepared to work with the model, with Nuvias recently becoming a master agent for Zoom.
RingCentral’s Del Real said the benefits of the agency approach were largely around speed and support, with channel partners able to get going quickly.
“The master agent model facilitates rapid deployment of our UCaaS products, with extensive support provided by RingCentral when getting set up and running,” she said. “This tried-and-tested approach has brought us great success in the past, and is the reason for the expansion of our master agent partnerships in all our markets.”
The firm has also tracked an impact from Covid-19, with the pandemic causing many customers to re-evaluate their approach to communications.
“While RingCentral has been growing steadily for several years, recent events and the ensuing mass need for UCaaS solutions has required us and our channel partners to deliver what had previously taken months in weeks and days,” said Del Real.
“The master agent model frees up time for their team to work with customers to understand and address business pain points and offer the appropriate cloud-based communications solutions. In turn, this means the purchaser has their business needs addressed, with direct support from RingCentral,” she said.