In July 2021, 8×8 held its first annual Channel Partner Awards, recognizing select players in the community for their passion, ingenuity and commitment to the channel.
At Intelisys we are proud of our “channel-centric” focus and honored to celebrate our collective successes with our Sales and Supplier Partners. Not only did we receive the Global Master Agent of the Year 2021 Award, but our own Stephanie Bouras, director, partner sales – Southeast Region, was named 8×8’s Channel Manager of the Year 2021.
We caught up with Stephanie Bouras, Paul Constantine, EVP, supplier services – Digital Distribution and Cory Shehan, director, supplier services to learn more about their definition of “channel-centric” and what this recognition means to us and our Partner community.
Q: What’s your definition of “channel-centric?”
Paul: Channel-centric is organizing everything we do around routes to market that utilize our Partners. 100 percent of our time, effort and energy is dedicated to empowering and enabling our Sales Partners to take Suppliers’ technologies to market.
Cory: Yes, I agree. I think it’s a testament to our commitment to the channel, our Partners and getting it done together. So we all grow.
Stephanie: Channel-centric allows Partners to take an agnostic approach to technology to serve customers and select the right solutions that best fit their needs. Intelisys enables Partners to navigate the marketplace and capitalize on opportunities. We love 8×8’s channel-first strategy which provides the dedicated resources to support our Partners’ success.
Q: Were you surprised that we received this recognition from 8×8?
Paul: From an objective standpoint, it wasn’t necessarily a surprise. We are culturally motivated to achieve this level of engagement with our key Supplier Partners. We achieved Platinum Partner status in the 8×8 Open Channel Program last October and our teams work closely together.
Still, it’s humbling and gratifying to earn this recognition. And It would not be possible without the dedication of our Partners.
Cory: This wasn’t a complete surprise, but we are honored to be recognized. The Global Master Agent of the Year award is another significant milestone in our long-standing partnership. We’ve consistently been one of 8×8’s top producing master agents and 8×8 also won our Partners’ Choice Award – Top Overall Supplier in 2019 and 2020.
It takes a lot of hard work from our Sales Partners to be #1. We owe this recognition to the hard work of our Sales Partners and our teams.
Stephanie: Yes, I was surprised and honored to be selected to receive the inaugural Channel Manager of the Year award. I am looking forward to continued success with 8×8.
Q: What does this recognition mean for Sales Partners?
Paul: It’s validation that our Partners are the best in the industry. No one produces more UCaaS and Contact Center revenue than our Sales Partners. It also demonstrates how our support enables them to be successful.
Cory: It’s a testament to our Partners’ hard work and to the fact that we partner with the best Suppliers. It’s also a testament to how much opportunity there is in the Unified Communications and Contact Center market. 8×8 is a leader in that space. As the UC and CC market continues to expand, we expect to see continued growth together.
We are “professionally curious.” We’re continually working to help educate our Partners so they can stay relevant to their customers. 8×8, being an industry leader with an award-winning platform, makes that easy.
Q: What’s the secret to our success with 8×8?
Paul: Proactive engagement. Engagement with our Partners and engagement with the 8×8 team. We’ve partnered with 8×8 since 2015 and the level of partnership, engagement and reciprocity has been stellar.
Cory: We work hard to make sure that our Sales Partners and our teams have the tools that they need to succeed with 8×8. And 8×8 makes it easy to support our Partners. They proactively invest in our Partners with sales tools, events, demand generation programs, partner enablement programs, and more.
We’ve built great relationships with 8×8. And they have built great relationships with our Partners. It’s resulted in a high level of trust between our organizations.
Stephanie: It’s all about relationships. The 8×8 channel sales team and the Intelisys channel sales team work closely together to drive market success. Our teams have sales engagement at the field level. Proactively aligning the right Partners and end customers that fit the 8×8 model has proven to be successful.
Q: How do you keep the team motivated to continuously learn about Suppliers and their technologies?
Paul: Our team takes pride in providing the industry’s best Partner experience. We hold ourselves accountable for understanding our Suppliers, their go-to-market strategies, differentiators and their “secret sauce.” Our team’s accountability and drive to learn enable us to provide more value to our Partner community.
Cory: Partners look to us to provide counsel and direction so that they can make more money, sell more complete solutions and capitalize on growth in key verticals. Our team consistently looks for ways to help Partners grow, by keeping up with the latest trends, technologies and growth sectors. We empower Partners with the confidence that they’re leading with the right solutions and bringing the right Suppliers into the right opportunities.
Stephanie: We are “professionally curious.” We’re continually working to help educate our Partners so they can stay relevant to their customers. 8×8, being an industry leader with an award-winning platform, makes that easy.
We provide education, tools and resources to help educate and empower Partners through self-paced education in MyIntelisys, market-based educational events, education and marketing assets in Intelisys University and more.
Thank you to our valued Sales Partners and the 8×8 team, and congratulations to each and every member of our channel community who made this recognition possible. As the catalyst that amplifies, elevates and accelerates growth, we continue to build bridges that help today’s Partners grow for tomorrow.