INTERNET TELEPHONY's 2022 Friend of the Channel Award Winners Put Their Partners First

By TMCnet Staff December 05, 2022

Well-developed channel programs can lead to two-fold success and growth – for the vendors and for their partners.  But, it’s not as simple as cobbling together a channel program and expecting it to grow on its own.  They take thought and continued cultivation.  The best channel programs are built on a set of core values that place partner success on a pedestal and are designed specifically to ensure partners’ growth opportunities and, by extension, vendors’ long-term viability.  It can't be a one-sided relationship. 

End customers often have longstanding relationships with MSPs, integrators, VARs, and others, and see them as trusted advisors for their technology needs.  Successful channel programs, then, must not only deliver quality solutions, but provide the tools and support these partners need to validate their roles as valued resources for businesses.  Providers that have made their channel programs a cornerstone of their business models have seen growth, even during challenging times, and they continue to invest in those programs to ensure long-term success.

The 2022 Fiend of the Channel program recognizes many of the successful channel programs that have been built on an understanding that their programs can’t stand alone on an island, but must be part of the underlying organizational culture.  We congratulate these winners and provide a small glimpse into why these programs were initially launched – some decades ago and others within the past few years.

101VOICE Accelerate
Channel Program Established:  2017 
Channel Partners:  (unknown)

101VOICE’s  Accelerate program was created to generate new recurring revenue opportunities and increase profitability and market growth both the company and its partners through the 101 VOICE UCaaS solution.  101VOICE is committed to being a valued partner for success today and into the future.
The company recognizes that its partners can introduce solutions to customers and influence decision-making much more effectively and efficiently than traditional direct sales.

101 VOICE engineered its partner program from the ground up to make selling, closing, managing, and retaining customers easier so partners can focus on building their businesses and growing their customer bases with a recurring revenue model.

AireSpring Channel Sales
Channel Program Established:  2001
Channel Partners:  8,000

Since its inception 21 years ago, AireSpring (News - Alert) has been 100% channel focused with no direct sales force. It leverages the power of the channel to cost-effectively bring a suite of products to its partners and their customers.  AireSpring’s model is built on recognizing the value that channel partners bring to their customers and suppliers, acting in the capacity of trusted advisors.  As such, AireSpring created its channel program to ensure its partners have the resources, tools, and support necessary to provide consistent, quality products that customers value.  It also understands that trusted advisors need to have a brand behind them to support them in their sales efforts and AireSpring serves that purpose, working together as one team with its partners to drive customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Aryaka Accelerate Partner Program
Channel Program Established:  2021
Channel Partners:  >1,600

The vision behind the Aryaka (News - Alert) Accelerate Partner Program is to create a frictionless environment that sets partners up for success. It is a simple program that eliminates all unnecessary guardrails, rules and mouse traps that are found in many other partner programs.  Aryaka’s goal is to leverage its value proposition to become known as the “un-telco.”

Broadvoice Partner Advantage Program
Channel Program Established:  2014
Channel Partners:  1,000

The owners behind Broadvoice started selling VoIP services to consumers under the residential brands Phone (News - Alert) Power and DSL Extreme. Phone Power acquired Broadvoice in 2012 to expand into the business sector and pinned its growth model on rapid scaling through the indirect channel. The strategy worked and since then Broadvoice has continued to lead with the channel, with 98 percent of business coming from partners.  The company believes its partners’ success is Broadvoice’s success and takes a focus that it says is not just channel-friendly, but relentless in its commitment to the channel.  Broadvoice does not compete with its partners and offers a variety of perks and recognition to its top-performing partners.

GTT Partner Program
Channel Program Established:  2007
Channel Partners:  >500 active

GTT understands that end customers tend have longstanding relationships built on trust and an unbiased approach to delivering the best solutions for each customer’s needs.  GTT recognizes that these relationships are not attainable via a direct sales channel-only approach and has built its program to support its partners in being the trusted advisors their customers expect.  GTT sees increased validation for this approach as it has shifted with the market to more strategic managed WAN, security and network solutions model.

Channel Program Established:  2019
Channel Partners:  >900

NUSO was built to support the channel for all UCaaS needs. Partners needed an advocate and an ally, so NUSO focused specifically on equipping and empowering the channel. When they win, we win.  We focused on building partnerships with MSPs, IT companies, VARs, and others, with a focus on increasing partner benefits above all else.

PanTerra Partner Program
Channel Program Established:  2007
Channel Partners:  480

PanTerra (News - Alert) launched its partner program to satisfy partners asking for access to PanTerra’s cloud solution as well to increase customer growth beyond direct sales.  Customers respect partners who often have serviced them in many business capacities and adding PanTerra's cloud solution fills a customer request that often comes up in future-proofing conversations. PanTerra has a four-pronged approach to customer acquisition with a heavy focus on partner growth and development.  Partners include agents ( who mainly just sell), master agents (who sell and have a large network of vendors and solution providers who also sell), VARs (who provide end-to-end sales and service), and Wholesaler (who white-label PanTerra’s service and offer their own private-branded version of Streams).

Progress Accelerate
Channel Program Established:  2020       
Channel Partners:  >2,000

Launched in 2020, the Progress Accelerate Partner Program was designed to maintain and augment that strength, providing one global program that gives partners the tools they need to accelerate their growth and achieve customer success.  The branded program centralizes and expands all of Progress’ channel partner initiatives into one offering, providing training and enablement, a dedicated account manager, joint marketing planning and support, and incentive programs.  Progress believes that prioritizing its partners’ success and effectively aligning it with its own goals makes the community better together.  It runs its channel program on the core philosophy that Progress only succeeds when its partners succeed.

Reinvent Telecom Partner Program
Channel Program Established:  2010
Channel Partners:  120

The origins of the Reinvent Partner Program are both organic and by design.  It was developed organically as a result of early requests from customers, which became some of the company’s earliest partners.  Customers had long been aware of Reinvent’s parent organization, Saddleback Communications, which was an early adopter of VoIP central office switch technology and at the forefront of the UC and SIP revolution.   That early-adopter approach led to developing an understanding of what was required to sell and support SIP-based solutions on a private network in an over-the-top manner. 

That technological expertise and market confidence led to the company initially partnering with local telecom resellers, starting with primary SIP trunking and later adding UCaaS and CCaaS solutions. Bill Bryant, president of Reinvent Telecom, recognized the business opportunity in a market he believed was not being well-served and, with the backing of a forward-thinking board, funded the development and growth of Saddleback’s Reinvent subsidiary and the Reinvent Partner Program.

Reinvent follows a unique business ownership structure that reassures partners that Reinvent is not going to be sold or deal with venture capital demands, providing confidence that partners can build a recurring revenue business and know that Reinvent will exist long-term to support their investments.

Sangoma Channel Partners
Channel Program Established:  1984
Channel Partners:  6,000

Sangoma established its Sangoma Channel Partner (News - Alert) program to further support existing and new customers. Having a channel program has allowed the company to extend its reach globally.  Sangoma Channel Partners is the oldest channel program among this year’s winners.

Edited by Erik Linask
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