One of the skills I’ve honed over the 13 years I’ve spent managing and growing channel partner programs is the ability to spot a great opportunity. When I joined RingCentral recently as VP of Channel Sales, it was precisely because I saw a great opportunity.
Specifically, I saw an extraordinary opportunity to join the leading provider of cloud business communications and collaboration solutions with an existing channel sales program that had a record year in 2015, and to help reshape and expand that program to take it to the next level.
As well as RingCentral’s Channel Sales Program has done and continues to do, there are two simple statistics that just scream huge opportunity:
Transparency Market Research estimates that by 2018 VoIP and unified communications will be a $69.1B market.* To date, penetration of this marketplace has been less than 10 percent.
If, as a vendor or potential channel partner, that kind of opportunity doesn’t excite you, you might want to give it a second thought.
Of course, having worked in the business communications and collaboration industry for quite a while, I was very much aware of RingCentral as a UCaaS market leader. Still, I was impressed to see that Gartner ranked the company as a leader in its September 2015 Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide report. And that a year earlier Gartner recognized the company in its Magic Quadrant Visionary report. The company has also received accolades from others including Deloitte, Frost&Sullivan and Google.
But most significant to me was learning more about RingCentral’s 300,000+ satisfied, loyal customers. After all, from a Channel Sales management perspective, that kind of large and happy customer base is critical to demonstrating to potential partners that RingCentral takes channel partners and their customers very seriously and delivers levels of service and support that partners can sell with confidence. To that point, here’s another compelling statistic:
The typical lifecycle of a RingCentral customer is 52 months, which is quite a bit longer than the industry average.
That, of course, translates into increased partner profitability.
Looking forward, my mission is to enhance and expand the RingCentral Channel Sales Program in a number of ways to entice additional partners – particularly an exclusive group of Master Agents and additional distributors both here in the U.S. and globally – to Think RingCentral First when considering a source for all of their customers’ UCaaS product and service needs.
Particularly with the recent launch of RingCentral Global Office™, our single global UCaaS solution designed to connect workforces across multiple countries with a single cloud solution, I believe RingCentral has significantly enhanced its value proposition. RingCentral Global Office provides companies doing business internationally with a groundbreaking solution that reduces the complexity and high costs of maintaining multiple, legacy on-premise PBX systems in each geography with a single cloud solution, while delivering a truly local, high quality experience. I’ve already seen a high level of interest in this new solution from our partners and their clients.
I also know that a world-class partner program must focus on the financial rewards participating partners can realize. So in addition to assuring potential partners that RingCentral will continue to enable them to put the very best cloud-based communications solutions in the hands of their clients, we are retooling our partner contracts and commission structures to make them attractive enough that potential partners Think RingCentral First. In fact, we’ve just recently launched an exciting new partner promotion featuring significant bonus incentives for RingCentral partners.
Partners also benefit from top-notch sales support that we provide to help them enhance their close ratios. RingCentral makes subject matter experts available to partners at no cost to assist them in the sales process to close deals. This is part of our end-to-end partner support that encompasses sales, implementation and the provisioning and ongoing support of our partners’ clients.
As attendees at the recent Enterprise Connect conference in Orlando heard, the future is about cloud, cloud and more cloud. And when it comes to cloud-based business communications solutions, RingCentral is not just a leader and innovator in the UCaaS space, but a leader with hundreds of thousands of loyal customers.
If I were a Master Agent or distributor, I’d want to partner with RingCentral. I hope you’ll contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about the opportunities to work together and to grow together.
[* Transparency Market Research, March 2013.]
Originally published Mar 15, 2016, updated Sep 08, 2020