Unified communications company, ShoreTel, has made alterations to its global Champion Partner Program to reflect a points-based system.
The new points-based system recognises ShoreTel partners both for sales revenue and the extent of their training and certification, particularly in the new ShoreTel Connect platform, and mobility, collaboration, as well as the contact centre.
The company said, in a statement, that in the US market, the changes are significant because its reward system now has one annual target, which will bring together the two previously separate Cloud and onsite partner programs into one single channel program.
This has been made possible with the introduction of Connect, ShoreTel's single UC platform across onsite, Cloud and hybrid deployments.
With this points system, it also consolidates 11 tiers into four for all partners – Authorised, Silver, Gold and Platinum – regardless of whether the partner is selling ShoreTel as an onsite, Cloud or hybrid solution.
The program also offers an expanded role for channel partners in the delivery of Cloud services. New functionality in ShoreTel Connect – the new common platform for onsite, Cloud and hybrid deployments – will allow partners to participate in the implementation and support of their Cloud customers and create incremental business opportunities for partner-provided value-added services.
Another enhancement will allow partner names to appear on ShoreTel Connect CLOUD bills. In addition, partners can learn how to capitalise on the Cloud opportunity by enrolling in ShoreTel’s newly created Cloud Implementation Academy. This collection of courses, offered at no charge, will teach partners how to participate in the delivery of Cloud services and monetise the opportunity.
ShoreTel A/NZ managing director, Jamie Romanin, said the move enables its partners to have control over how they meet their commitments and can do so through a combination of Cloud, onsite and hybrid sales and ShoreTel Connect training.
"The changes to our Champion Partner Program are an important step in preparing our local partners for the future availability of ShoreTel Connect CLOUD in region.
“While we don't have a date set for the launch of a local Cloud service, the simplicity of the new program will make it easy for our partners to incorporate ShoreTel Connect CLOUD as part of their portfolio," he said.
He also said the introduction of a points-based reward system recognises training and certification achievements in these technologies to encourage partners to become more competitive in the A/NZ market.
"Increasingly, IP telephony and unified communications resellers are differentiating themselves with their ability to deliver more complex, advanced UC solutions - incorporating mobility, collaboration and contact centre deployments.”
Other enhancements to the program include: new modular training based on ShoreTel Connect, rewards for certification training above minimum requirements, a more streamlined opportunity registration, Marketing Development Funds (MDF) benefits extended to Cloud, and simplified Cloud Commission options.
The new program comes into effect in A/NZ on November 1 and ShoreTel indicated that its partner-branded billing for Enabled partners will “begin in the near future”.