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Last year, an average of 32% of @Zoom’s business was comprised of transactions via the channel.

Claudia Adrien

July 12, 2023

5 Slides

Zoom channel partners are seeing a renaissance. And so is the tech giant in the indirect market. The company’s channel now contributes more than 30% to its non-online bookings globally and more than 32% to Zoom Phone. Zoom Phone surpassed 10% of revenue in the last quarter.

For Todd Surdey, head of global channels and business development at Zoom, this success is partly because partners are getting renewed attention from the highest levels of the company. In the last eight months, Zoom completely “rehabbed” its partner program, emphasizing more certification initiatives and bolstering spiffs for referral partners. And that’s just to name a few.

Channel Futures sat down with Surdey to talk about those developments with Zoom channel partners. He also discusses how he’s spearheaded new partner education programs and customer support for partners. He also espouses Zoom’s approach to artificial intelligence and why partners should feel confident about the company’s federated AI goals.

Here’s our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.

Channel Futures: I know you’ve been busy the last couple of months. Could you offer a recap of where Zoom is regarding Zoom channel partners and your partner program? How have initiatives evolved since we last talked eight months ago?

Todd-Surdey-1.jpg

Zoom’s Todd Surdey

Todd Surdey: It’s been an amazing journey. If you think about some of the big things that I had announced at Partner Connect, which was part of Zoomtopia, we’ve actually implemented all of those. And even better, we’re really fine-tuning what we should do as it relates to the success of our partners. We’ve completely rehabbed and up leveled the entire partner program. Our goal is improving the ease of doing business. One of the critical things we’ve done is change the go-to-market. It’s morphed on the Zoom side, and it’s designed to support our partners in a in a way that allows them to grow and to work much closer with the Zoom direct seller or selling teams which was really not there in the past.

When you think about operations as it relates to that, we now have more self-service things that we’re doing. So, if I’m a partner, we actually have new ways of supporting them where they can dial in and get the help that they need, whether it be technical or sales wise, irrespective of trying to track down a person. It’s always great to have a person that you can rely on, but that person may decide to take some time off. There are a whole bunch of things we’ve done around that. And the last thing I’d say is, how do you really start to generate and build up the knowledge base and the ability of our partner base? These are areas we’re successfully working on.

We’ve made such incredible strides, but more work is to be done on this journey regarding what we’re doing and how we want to do it with partners. The biggest thing I can tell you that I’ve seen happen in the last few months is channel partners are core to the strategy for all of Zoom. I don’t know if we could have really said that in the past. But now they’re the core. Zoom is trying to get to the $5 billion to $10 billion mark. And partners are instrumental in that.

See the slideshow above for the rest of our conversation with Surdey in regard to Zoom channel partners, including the company’s approach to AI and a comparison between direct and indirect sales at Zoom.

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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