Subject:::Polycom Debuts New Channel Program - Unified Communications
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January 18, 2010

Polycom Debuts New Channel Program

Polycom, a Pleasanton, Calif.-based provider of telepresence, video and voice communication services, has introduced a new partner program that is designed to spur a greater commitment from its core partners and boost their expertise in the Unified Communications sector.

The new program, called Polycom (News - Alert) Choice Partner Program, offers partners tiered levels, as well as a certification program that will help solution providers and value-added resellers become specialized in IP-based video solutions and UC.
The program, one of three new channel programs, targets Polycom's VARs, A/V integrators, regional systems integrators and service providers. Polycom’s other programs include the Alliance Program, which targets global system integrators, global OEMs and technology alliance partners, and the Arena Program, which targets application providers and technology partners.
Polycom unveiled the program to solution providers and to VARs earlier this month. The company plans to introduce the program to DMRs and retailers in April when the effort officially launches, Deandra Cassidy, senior manager of global channel market and programs at Polycom, told TMCnet in an interview.
“The goal is to provide a framework where partners can align with Polycom and be rewarded for their investment,” Cassidy said.
The offer-based program includes specific requirements that offer a roadmap to rewards members can earn under three categories: registered, gold and platinum. The registered, or entry level, is designed for new members, whereas the gold level requires more of a member investment, Cassidy said. The platinum tier is reserved for companies that are the most strongly committed to selling Polycom products, she said.
Polycom has laid out specific revenue expectations for members to join the gold and platinum tiers. To achieve those levels, the firm wants partners that offer increased investment achieve specialization in telepresence, video solutions, voice over IP, wireless, A/V integrator and UC sectors.
For example, gold partners must achieve an annual revenue commitment of $750,000 in the U.S and have at least one specialization. Platinum members must achieve an annual commitment of $5 million, as well as have at least two specializations, company officials said.
Those partners that reach the gold and platinum status will receive a number of benefits, including performance and growth-oriented incentives, demonstration discounts, leads and sales and marketing support, Cassidy said.
“The marketplace is prime,” Cassidy said. “Polycom is here to offer the right solution. “The more partners invest and work with us and their business contribution, the more they will be recognized with ROI through increased resources and increased recognition.”
With a new leadership team in place, “We feel this is the right time to introduce a partner program,” she said.
In July, Polycom hired Andy Miller, a former Cisco (News - Alert) and TANDBERG executive as its executive vice president of global field operations. Miller’s hiring came three months after Ron Myers, the former TANDBERG vice president of Canada sales, joined Polycom as vice president of worldwide channels.
The program comes in the wake of recent industry consolidation from major players. For example, Cisco announced plans last fall to purchase TANDBERG to integrate the company’s video endpoints and network infrastructure solution into its collaboration architecture. Cisco later upped its bid for the firm. In addition, Logitech International, a Switzerland-based provider of PC video communication technology, announced plans to acquire LifeSize Communications, a provider of high definition video communication solutions, for $405 million.
Polycom is a Silver sponsor of ITEXPO East 2010. To be held Jan. 20 to 22 in Miami, ITEXPO (News - Alert) is the world’s premier IP communications event. Visit Polycom in booth D17 on the show floor. Don’t wait. Register now.

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering business communications Her areas of focus include conferencing, SIP, Fax over IP, unified communications and telepresence. Amy also writes about education and healthcare technology, overseeing production of e-Newsletters on those topics as well as communications solutions and UC. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney

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