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AI Tools Like ChatGPT Overwhelm Partners, Spur New CCaaS Technology DistributionAI Tools Like ChatGPT Overwhelm Partners, Spur New CCaaS Technology Distribution

Approximately 17 vendors have signed up with Ascent Business Partners, the organization behind the new distribution model.

Claudia Adrien

April 26, 2023

3 Min Read
AI tools like ChatGPT in the contact center

AI tools like ChatGPT are being adopted by channel vendors at a record pace. The question is, how will partners keep up with the deluge of changes happening at the AI product level?

That’s where Ascent Business Partners comes in. The newly created organization, which focuses on digital transformation and will work with and through technology service distributors (TSDs), is exclusively for the contact center industry. Ascent will vet and then bundle AI tools, for example, into packages that partners can sell. Approximately 17 vendors – ones Ascent is keeping under wraps for now – have already signed agreements to participate with the organization.

Longtime channel leader Jon Heaps, who has held roles with several contact center vendors for the past 20 years, spent the last year helping to establish Ascent.

Ascent's Jon Heaps

Ascent’s Jon Heaps

“These vendors have got great technology but they’re trying to figure out how they go to market with it,” Heaps said. “Is it through distribution or is it through direct sales? That’s where my background comes in. I am working with a number of vendors now, helping them to prepare for and enable them to go through distribution.”

Heaps is not a one-man operation. The Ascent team also includes Alex Lustig as co-founder and chief innovation officer; Sharath Keshava as investor and strategic advisor; and Marty Sarim, also as investor and strategic advisor. Ascent is the go-to-market arm for Carya Venture Partners.

How Ascent Works, and for AI Tools Like ChatGPT

Through distribution, TSDs or BPOs (business process outsourcers), Ascent presents technology that fits various partner needs. Ascent leaders conduct a discovery phase with partners to determine which vendor products are right for their businesses. Stacks can go as large as partners want. Next, a 30- to 60-day pilot program is initiated. Then, the implementation process varies depending on the product. Finally, the cycle starts again, and new technologies are presented. This is critical, Heaps said, because AI tools are rapidly evolving, and partners need to bring these items to customers sooner rather than later.

Also, ROI is clearly measured and understood post implementation.

“New revenue can be used to pursue additional digital transformation initiatives within other business groups and the organization,” according to Ascent.

However, Heaps says Ascent is selective about which vendors it brings into its portfolio. No more than two companies with the same technological profile can join the organization.

“I believe that what you’re going to see in the next five years is the onslaught of all this technology. There’s more and more of it coming. And there’s no one to keep up with it all. That’s what we’re doing. We’re refining, simplifying the process and constantly bringing new CCaaS technologies to the table,” Heaps said. “Ascent is expanding already because the need is coming at us so quickly.”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Claudia Adrien or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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About the Author(s)

Claudia Adrien

Claudia Adrien is a reporter for Channel Futures where she covers breaking news. Prior to Informa, she wrote about biosecurity and infectious disease for a national publication. She holds a degree in journalism from the University of Florida and resides in Tampa.

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