Effective Channel Partner Programs Have Created a “Bubble-Up” Effect

–By Zane Long. Republished with permission by RingCentral.

As organizations continue to migrate their IT infrastructures and applications to the cloud, I’ve noticed something interesting happening. Initially, the migration was driven by sales and marketing. Yes, some insightful IT and business managers saw the value proposition of the cloud early on – lower costs, the off-loading of hardware ownership and maintenance of equipment, automated software upgrades, responsibility for security, business continuity and more. Until recently, though, education and persuasion were required to give other organizations the confidence to take the leap.
Lately, I’ve noticed a “bubble-up” effect in which organizations are initiating conversations with their trusted IT advisors (channel partners) about moving not just core data-driven applications, but also their business communications systems to the cloud. Increasingly, I hear customers say that going forward they will be “cloud first” and “cloud only” when it comes to all things IT.
This is a very positive development for vendors and channel partners. It allows us to get to the conversations about how to move to the cloud and what platforms and solutions to employ much faster, which leads to quicker implementation, and accelerated business results and returns on investments.
Customers are growing more sophisticated, as evidenced by their expectations of the integrated capabilities, overall flexibility, and improved user experiences they want from their cloud deployments. They’re not just looking to move business applications and business communications solutions to the cloud. They also want these applications and solutions to be tightly integrated on the same open platform. Unification and simplicity on a single, open platform represents a significant value-add to the customer.
The bubble-up trend I’ve described is the result of a number of factors. Not the least of these is that customers rely on RingCentral partners, like Intelisys and its family of agents, as trusted advisors to guide them and help them make the best choices for their businesses. That’s why we value our channel partners so highly. By directly addressing customers’ desires to have advanced capabilities without having to learn how to manage the complexity that underlies those capabilities, you allow them to focus on their core competencies and offerings.
We also value our partners for the feedback and insights they provide us based on their experiences with their customers. From our ongoing conversations with our partners we learn more about customer expectations, wish lists, and business strategies, and we can factor that information into our own R&D work, which means that you’re not just trusted advisors to your customers, but to us as well.
About the Author
Zane Long is the Vice President of Channel Sales at RingCentral. Zane brings more than 20 years of leadership and management experience in the telecommunications industry with 12 of those years creating and leading successful national and international indirect sales programs.

About RingCentral
RingCentral harnesses the power of the cloud to help today’s modern, mobile businesses communicate faster, smarter, and more effectively than ever before. Built on a secure and reliable cloud communication and collaboration platform, RingCentral goes beyond cloud PBX, combining voice, team messaging, collaboration, video conferencing, online meetings, and contact center capabilities. Available across multiple devices—from smartphones, tablets, and computers to desk phones—RingCentral’s unified communications as a service (UCaaS) solution scales globally, making it easy to administrate across countries from a single platform.