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Zoom looks for significant channel growth across EMEA

Collaboration specialist is working to a plan that will see revenues through partners increase significantly over the next few years

Zoom has outlined ambitious channel growth targets as it looks to ramp up the contribution that partners make towards the business over the next few years.

The collaboration specialist has been busy on the channel front, recently rolling out its first global partner programme as well as holding an EMEA update last week.

The firm has made progress with the channel since it kicked off its EMEA channel in Germany back in 2014, and has been gradually building it out, expanding beyond the initial base of AV specialists.

Dion Smith, head of EMEA channel at Zoom, said its channel had evolved over the past few years to become something that would appeal to many more partners. “Between 2018 and 2021, through further client demand and maturity of our platform, our ecosystem extended into IT resellers and carriers, and we also signed up our first distribution partnerships [to cover EMEA],” he said.

The channel helped the business move beyond its public sector and small and medium-sized enterprise base to gain more enterprise customers, and by last year, indirect sales accounted for 21% of non-online sales for EMEA.

In January, the vendor kicked off a four-year channel strategy that has ambitions to dramatically increase the contribution that partners make to the business. “I envisage that in four years, the channel contribution will be greater than 80% of the EMEA revenue,” said Smith.

Part of that strategy is around identifying the top 20 partners in each country and supporting them, investing more in GSI relationships and putting more support into account management and local offices.

Zoom Up

“Underpinning the strategy, we launched our first global channel programme this month, called Zoom Up, which provides a framework to our existing ecosystem in addition to the new partner ecosystem we are building,” he said.

Smith pointed out that Zoom Up was the first iteration of its global partner programme and that it would be making sure that, over time, it adapted and supported changing channel needs.

The programme has tiering, incentives and rewards for those that hit revenue and skill requirements, but he said competencies were key to helping partners develop and gain rewards from the supplier: “We are building significant depth in sales and platform competency in our ecosystem so clients can select the right partner.”

Zoom also sees distribution as a way to get greater geographical coverage, and the vendor estimates that more relationships, which should be announced shortly, would open up access to 400,000 partners across EMEA that Zoom currently doesn’t have a relationship with today.

“We are going to continue to mature our partners and build their practices on Zoom,” said Smith, adding that it had been holding a number of partner summits in the UK, France and Germany, and had added 150 plus performance partners to Zoom Up in the past few months.

He also said the channel had been reacting to the emergence of hybrid working, and that there were opportunities for partners to take part in those conversations with customers.

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