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Unify aiming for mid-market

Comm specialist is looking to being on board more partners as it plans to break out of its SME stronghold

Comms specialist Unify has brought on board an industry veteran to run its UK channel at a moment it is looking to increase its indirect business.

The appointment of Barry Tuffs, who has a career including a senior channel position at Avaya, as well as spells at Nortel and Telecast, is designed to add momentum to Unify’s channel plans.

Tuffs said the firm had very strong representation in the channel at a small business level, with the sub 250 seats market particularly well catered for.

But one of the challenges was to bolster the activity in the mid-market and enterprise areas and Tuffs is looking for some additional resellers to help meet that ambition.

“If you look at the Unify channel business and the market it is very focused on the SME and we need to enable channel partners to [sell into] the mid-market and enterprise,” he said.

“We don’t want hundreds of partners, just those with the capability and those that want to come on the journey with us,” he added.

One of the other tasks for Tuffs is to encourage resellers to get more into the cloud. Customers are increasingly looking for UC and other comms applications to be delivered via a hosted model.

Tuffs said that it would be working with its distribution partners - Nimans and Scansource - to help resellers get up to speed with the cloud.

“It will enable them to go to their legacy base and to net new customers with a different sales story,” he said.

In terms of partners making the transition to the managed services model there continues to be some education needed to encourage those that focused on the kit sales to think more about recurring revenue models.

Tuffs is planning to hold some roundtables with senior executives from partners to get a good feeling of how they perceive the firm and just what they want to see in future channel activities.

In the corporate structure Tuff will report into senior vice president of channel for Emear at Unif Thomas Veit.

“Barry is a great addition to the Unify channels sales team. He will be an instrumental part of our channel acceleration strategy in the UK & Ireland, as we aim to expand our presence dramatically in the coming years,” he said.

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