Remote Workforce Solutions – Spotlight on 8×8

Intelisys President Mark Morgan, chats with John DeLozier, SVP of Global Channels for 8×8, about the future of communications, and the importance of being prepared.

Mark: Hello everybody. I’m Mark Morgan with Intelisys. And this afternoon I am with John DelLzier, who happens to be the SVP of Global Channels for 8×8. And we’re just going to share one of the typical conversations we had pre work from home and post work from home. So, John, how’s it going?

John: Good, man. Yeah, I don’t know if we can share our typical conversation, but we can make it as close to typical as possible, right?

Mark: That’s right. Well good, I hope your family’s well. And the last time we talked, I think was maybe two months ago. I think it was week one of the work remote environment that everyone’s living in now. As I recall, it was probably 8:30 on a Saturday night. And one of the interesting things in that conversation yeah, between my wife and your wife saying, “Hey, what are you doing on the phone on a Saturday night?” was the fact that 8×8 in one week, had moved from thousands of partners to a little over 4 million partners on your platform. So what does that look like today?

John: Yeah. Yeah. Crazy. Obviously, from toilet paper to communications, we had insane things happen in over the last few months. And so from that time, you were right, we were about a week into it and we’d gone from thousands of users, to your point, a little over 4 million. Yesterday, we closed at 21 million users on the 8×8 collaboration platform, the one we’re recording on right now. So it’s insane, Mark. I mean, it has just gone through the roof.

Mark: How do you guys look at the opportunity for the Channel, once we go back to whatever normal looks like, how do you see demand? How do you see the Channel participating in turning all of those 20 some odd million users, at least a high percentage of that into revenue-generating partners?

John: Well look, we’re already in it. I know, talk a lot about tomorrow in a bit, but right now, I will tell you that the demand is going through the roof. You would think that with everybody going home and the communications platforms and the participation in those platforms socially, as we knew it and office buildings, et cetera, would change. And for us, there’s definitely, it was a bump, right? The hospitality customers, the travel customers, those folks that are in those kinds of businesses that are very people intensive, et cetera, it literally stopped overnight. And so our pipeline was affected.

We had some business that we have teed up in those industries that went away that said it pales in comparison to what’s happened since then and during, even that dissipation. We have picked up business with hospitals and schools, and municipalities, all over the world. It’s truly Mark gone through the roof. We have a knitting club that meets on our platform. I mean, it’s just insane. It has really, really been interesting to be at home and to watch the spike in business. And I will tell you that we’re not going to ever apologize over here for having a warehouse full of water during the drought. I mean, it just happens to be that our software, the 8×8 platform was built for remote workers and that’s what we’re seeing.

Mark: It’s interesting at ScanSource Intelisys and our global operations, within two days we were a hundred percent remote. When our CEO said, Hey, this is what we’re going to do, we want to protect the health of all of our team, we went remote and it was flawless. A lot of what we heard from the channel, both our partner community with Intelisys and our VAR community with ScanSource is that, a lot of people, a lot of end customers that thought they were prepared, found out that they had tested, maybe tested their VPNs on a small group. Their premise-based systems that they thought would work in a remote situation did not work as flawlessly as a lot of companies did.

And because of that and the feedback we got from the channel around opportunity, we believe that there is going to be an explosive opportunity on one, there’s obviously sharp demand now, but an explosive opportunity coming out of this. You guys see the same thing and how long of a run do you think it’ll be? Do you think it’s a short term player? Or is this the tipping point to where anyone that was standing in the way of cloud knows now that they need to go in that direction?

John: Oh, that’s great. It’s great, great question. I think it’s all changed and I think it’s all going to change moving forward. Let me talk about Intelisys and ScanSource for one second. So there’s no secret and sometimes they take some criticism for this, by the way, which cracks me up because, if you want to be… Everybody’s got an equal shot, right? It’s the marketplace. It’s fair. And, Intelisys and ScanSource, both of ours and the agent sub-community continue, continue to rise up. That family of partners, you are our number one partner. And, we do a lot of business together. We see a lot of opportunity together, and I have seen the same explosion. What I’ve said to not only the ScanSource family of partners and the partner community as a whole is this is, nobody’s seen this.

Nobody’s seen what’s happening like today in a hundred years. My CEO, Vik Verma, who I know you’re pals with said to me, “It’s like the worst hurricanes, 9/11, and 20 other disasters hit the entire world at the exact same time.” And it’s all changed. And I think there’s a lot of mystery there for customers. They’re not really sure what’s going to happen tomorrow. What’s cloud all about? Is it reliable? Is it secure? Can I pull, my contacts with collaboration? There’s a lot of mystery. And I always say to the partner community where there’s mystery, there’s margin. That’s what you want, you don’t want a disaster obviously, right? But what you do want is the opportunity to counsel and consult with your customer-base and show them what it’s all about.

So look, it’s a little windy, sorry, but I think the future has changed, I think that we’re going into a golden age of communication for all the wrong reasons. All of the things that have happened have just accelerated this thing. And I believe Mark that businesses tomorrow are going to go out and you’re starting a company, or you’re expanding the first question might’ve used to be, am I going to get some space? And where is that space going to be? What’s it going to look like? No, the question is going to be now first what’s my communication system look like? Because something like this happens again, right? I mean, you got to be prepared.

Mark: So, you mentioned contact center. Do you have an example of out of the box strategy that you guys might’ve implemented over the past couple of weeks, just around contact center, alone. A lot of times when people think of contact center, they think of a lengthy implementation and integration. Did you have situations to where you created quick start opportunities for end customers, for contact center?

John: Yeah, we sure did, especially around healthcare. So we’ve had a couple of healthcare agencies. We had a major hospital that specializes in pediatrics. We had hospitals all over or Italy that use our product, literally call in and say, “Hey, the demand is through the roof. We have beds in between the building and the parking lot. We’re taking care of people in the front yard. Loved ones are trying to find out what’s going on with their parents or their grandparents or their kids, or. We were trying to schedule appointments. We also, by the way, from a telemedicine perspective are trying to diagnose over the web, et cetera. So can you stand something up for us?” And that’s the beauty of cloud Mark, you know this. There’s no truck pulling up back there, pulling off a big old PBX and three-day, cut-over where I’m bringing the beer and the pizza, those days are over.

And so that’s the beauty of cloud. You can move quickly and mobilize your team and your communications platform and all the workers involved. So yeah, we were standing up contact centers and lobbies. Out back under tents. It’s been really intense.

Mark: Well, that’s good. I think I’ve heard similar stories multiple times. And I think one of the key things that we’ve been looking at back earlier this year, we started adding to our staff with Intelisys. We continue to invest there and not only are we doing everything we can right now to potentially help partners with escalations, et cetera, and their commissions on the Intelisys side. We’ve been doing a lot to help, a lot of the guys on the VAR community that have been maybe sitting on the fence for moving from print-based to cloud. And we saw a lot of demand there.

So everything that we’re focused on right now is basically this. Early on we heard a lot of “What do I do now?” We did everything we could to shore up our business and put the right people in the right seats around potential issues and escalations around end customers. But today, we’re moving to a “What’s next?” What do we need to be prepared for tomorrow and the upcoming months, and the upcoming quarters?

How are you guys? What do you think? What do you see coming? And how are you preparing for simply what’s next?

John: Look it’s changed forever. It’s not going back. Somebody, I did a podcast this past week with Marcus Kalki in the UK. And he said to me that the technology toothpaste has been squeezed out of the tube and it’s not going back in. And I thought it was a really good word picture because it has happened now, and so there’s no return. So for us, it’s really gathering around our partner, regardless of route to market. So with ScanSource and our partnership, we don’t really mind how you go to market. You want to be a master subagent great, we’ve got a program for you at the partnership. You want to continue down the path of VAR and do your thing great, we’ve got a plan for you as well. And what we’re trying to do is really make sure that we enable and educate and teach the partners what to look for, how to position cloud, even outside of our products.

And as they move forward to really knock down business. Somebody said to me the other day, I actually heard this from you at one point in one of your onstage talks, you talked about the TAM available. We all debated, what is it? 80 billion, a hundred billion, 120 billion in cloud, we don’t really know. But if you added up every single cloud company today, every supplier today, us and all of our competitors, we up 13% of a hundred billion dollar TAM. And you know us, we go to market only with partners. So, I mean, it’s right there for the taking down.

Mark: Yes, that’s exactly right. So that’s, the size of the market, the speed of the market and the opportunity out there is, I think for me, yeah, I think it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in one of the biggest technology transitions, at least in my lifetime and then yours as well. So look, I don’t want it to take any more of your time. I think that’s a great way to end. And John, I hope you and your family have a great weekend.

John: Hey Mark. Thanks for having me. And it’s always fun doing this with you. I’m excited about the future, with 8×8 and ScanSource. We love that Intelisys community and we really, truly look forward to what’s next. So thanks again.

Mark: All right, John. Thank you.

John: See you, my friend.