The Spirit of Innovation and Collaboration in RingCentral’s Channel

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Founder and CEO of RingCentral, Vlad Shmunis, recently said RingCentral is an “AI-first, multi-product company, not just for the sake of innovation, but to create real, tangible value for those we serve.”

While much of the value we create goes to our end-users, a significant share also goes to the other important group that we serve: our 16,000 global channel partners.

Everything we do helps our partners. Our innovative campaigns help partners to differentiate themselves in a competitive market. Our enablement and training help them take advantage of longer buying cycles. And our AI-first products provide them with solutions that boost customer satisfaction and retention.

To learn more about the ways our channel teams are embracing the spirit of innovation that Vlad was talking about, we spoke with our channel leaders from around the world about their regions and how they’re collaborating with channel partners to create meaningful value.

Changing sales cycles becomes an opportunity thanks to partnerships

Many factors, both global and regional, have contributed to a change in the buying climate. Increased energy costs, for example, have forced businesses’ operational costs up, and as a result, they’ve become more cautious with their budgets. On top of this, many companies had less-than-optimal experiences following the first wave of migration to cloud communications in 2020. Now they are looking for longer-term solutions that add more value.

Highlighting this trend and the way RingCentral is helping partners and end-users, Associate Vice President for International Channel Sales, Rami Houbby, told us, “The technology purchased back then (aka cloud 1.0) was good enough to get them going but has not evolved to meet growing business needs. This is where RingCentral innovations come in, empowering our partners with next-generation cloud technologies (aka cloud 2.0) that uniquely combine both employee and customer experiences, infused with AI, to create real value for their customers, reducing the cost of doing business and making them more competitive in the market.”

Using the innovative, AI-enabled solutions that we have developed is helping partners to meet customer demands and be more competitive. We are also empowering partners to transform the longer buying cycle into an opportunity by building close, collaborative relationships backed by training, enablement, and sales support.

Speaking with Manuel Bacher, RingCentral Partner Manager in Germany, he told us how German partners are seizing this opportunity, “Our partners recognise that today’s buyers are more cautious than before. They do want to check out the capabilities of the products more. But the result is that the partner can serve the needs of the customer better with the right product. This is exactly where our partners can show the full bandwidth of possibilities.”

Working together to forge new strategies

Across regions, our channel partners are always looking for new strategies to connect with customers and win new business. Often, we help connect customers and partners by creating collaborative marketing initiatives that deliver results and build a shared sense of accomplishment within the channel community. In other instances, winning new customers relies on strategic, focused campaign building, and experimenting with new techniques.

When we spoke with Emily Fallon, Regional Vice President for International Channel Marketing and Partner Programs, she emphasised the role that data is playing in creating campaigns, “One key strategy revolves around leveraging data-driven insights to craft targeted and personalised marketing campaigns. By analysing market trends, consumer behaviour, and regional preferences, our team ensures that channel partners have access to tailored collateral that resonates with their target audience.

“This approach not only enhances the effectiveness of lead generation but also positions our partners as industry experts who understand the unique needs of their customers.”

Progress is driven by product enhancements

The unique needs of customers are developing at pace. Customers want communications platforms free from barriers and silos, and AI has become a must. It is by creating solutions that meet and surpass end-users’ needs, and embedding AI as a central component, that our partners can stand out. Our products improve our partners’ market positions.

This was a sentiment echoed to us by Emma Westland, Senior Strategic Partner Manager, who commented, “Our AI-first products allow our partners to offer their customers a greater understanding of their needs, and how their customers can improve interactions. Voice conversation data and insights improve productivity. AI is transforming the business communications landscape, and this now allows our partners to supply their customers with a solution that can evolve as they grow by delivering superior experiences and outcomes.”

Ben Swanson, Regional Vice President Partner Sales Australia, emphasised RingCentral’s proactive stance in anticipating and shaping these evolving customers’ needs. “By fostering a culture of innovation and investing in continuous self-improvement, RingCentral ensures that its solutions remain at the forefront of industry trends,” he said. “The development of the New Product Introduction Strategy for Australia exemplifies this commitment, offering partners a structured approach to engage with cutting-edge technologies and provide tailored solutions to their customers.”

What next?

AI is a mega-trend. Everything from now onwards will incorporate some element of artificial intelligence. But, where does this new frontier leave us, vendors and partners alike?

Well, as Stéphanie Curtet, Partner Manager for France told us: “Alone we go faster, together we go further. It is even more true when it comes to channel partners.”

For us, building close, long-term partnerships is key to mutually beneficial business. Across our regions we have partner programs designed to build you more leads and empower your teams; your mission is our mission.

Learn more about the value our programs add to your portfolio of solutions.

Originally published Apr 10, 2024

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