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RingCentral eyeing channel growth

Comms specialist has made sure it has options for partners that want to get on board with its unified communications and contact centre options

RingCentral has opened the door to working with an increased number of channel partners and has ensured it has the flexibility to work with various partner models.

The unified communications and collaboration specialist has predominately used the agency model with its channel, but it has now added more traditional terms of engagement to make sure it is picking up a wide partner base.

Tony McNish, regional vice-president of channel sales at RingCentral, said partners remained pivotal to the growth of the business and the contribution they had made could be seen in its recent results.

“From a UK perspective, our channel continues to grow and be the lifeblood of our business...that continues to be the driving force of the business to be a channel first organisation. We just released our 2022 final results and Q4 results. The channel results within that were extremely stellar,” he said.

“We’ve predominantly gone to market in an agency model, which has been highly successful in the US. We’ve replicated that over here in the UK, but we have created additional contracting mechanisms to make sure that we can address the marketplace,” McNish added.

The agency model is well established in the US and is often a favourite method of working with the channel for comms companies, but the UK market has required a more varied response.

“There’s a certain type of partner that really plays well with agency and likes the way agency works. Then there are other partners, and VARs and MSPs, and we’ve now built hybrid models that can span across agency and other things to make sure we’ve got the ability to give partners the choice of how they want to get to market with us,” he said.

Having that flexibility has helped the firm grow its channel, and interest in unified comms and contact centres has continued to rise, sparking increased partner enquiries.

“We’ve recruited ... some phenomenal partners in the UK, which have come from different backgrounds. We can talk to traditional partners that probably didn’t necessarily touch unified communications and contact centres,” added McNish “We’ve been able to satisfy the demand from both types of organisations – those that are having the skills in contact centre in UCC and those that aren’t.”

The comms landscape has changed with the shift to hybrid working, which has also fuelled opportunities for channel partners able to pitch a cloud-based proposition versus legacy tech that customers might reluctantly still be sitting on.

McNish said although there were economic headwinds, its partners were uncovering opportunities because customers want technology that allows them to do more with less and can make a return on investment quickly.

Another area where the channel has been making a positive difference for the comms player is in the public sector, and McNish said it was keen to keep momentum going on that front in 2023.

“Our partners have been the catalyst to get us to market in the public sector and that continues to be a sharp focus for us in 2023 as we continue to invest in go to market within the public sector,” he said.

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