Polycom (Again) Reworks Channel Program
Someone at Polycom (NASDAQ:PLCM) must love channel program overhauls. For a second time in just two years, the video collaboration provider has reworked its channel program from top to bottom, consolidating all priors under one unified umbrella called the Polycom Partner Network to house the company’s entire roster of 7,000 partners, including technology providers, ISVs, solution advisers, integrators, service providers and alliance partners. And, this, less than two months after rebranding itself as a software-centric provider.
The heart of the program restructure is the funneling of channel partners into seven specific designations. The point is to foster collaboration among various partner types, which Polycom believes is an essential ingredient to deliver tailored unified communications and video collaboration solutions to customers.
“Our vision at Polycom is to make video collaboration ubiquitous, and we believe the Polycom Partner Network is critical to making this vision a reality,” said Tracey Newell, Polycom global sales executive vice president.
Companies slotted into Polycom’s seven new categories come from its Open Communications Network, Arena and Choice partner programs, which have coalesced into the new program:
- Strategic Alliances – A new alliance designation reserved for recognizable names supporting the RealPresence platform and working jointly with Polycom on go-to-market and business plans.
- Technology Partners – Independent hardware, software or vertical market companies teaming with Polycom on product development or go-to-market relationships.
- Developers – Video collaboration ISVs deploying industry standards or Polycom’s APIs/SDKs to integrate with RealPresence.
- Distributors – Offer solution advisers value-added services in sales, order management, marketing, fulfillment, technical support, warehousing, transport, financing and training.
- Solution Advisors – VARs that provide services from project concept to installation, including on-going support and management of Polycom solutions.
- System Integrators – Provide value-added total solutions with products and services from several third-party suppliers, including Polycom.
- Service Providers – Partners who own a physical network and/or lease transport to sell carrier network services and deliver managed, hosted solutions, or Video-as-a-Service solutions.
In addition to the new partner categories, Polycom also kicked off a new developer program for ISVs to leverage Polycom APIs and SDKs. And, to help technology partners integrating or embedding Polycom software in devices, products or applications — a trend Polycom said is increasing in frequency — the vendor has two new branding vehicles, “Polycom Ready” and “Polycom Powered.”
“Ready” denotes partner devices, network devices and software interoperable with Polycom’s software and applications on the RealPresence platform while “Powered” indicates partner solutions that integrate or embed Polycom applications or technologies. The vendor said that HTC, Lenovo, Motorola (NYSE: MSI) and Samsung already are sporting the “Ready” and “Powered” badges.
Last but not least, Polycom unveiled an upgrade to its PolycomConnect partner portal called for partners to find resources, support and identify other providers in the vendor’s Partner Network.