Berry talked about Jenne accommodating different partner types, expanding its portfolio and dropping the "master agent" label.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

November 18, 2021

6 Min Read
Cloud Sales

Jenne is working to give its VAR and broker partners customized routes to market.

So says Shawn Berry, Jenne’s recently appointed senior vice president of global cloud channel sales.

“It really varies based on the partner’s needs,” Berry told Channel Futures. “Not everyone’s going to be comfortable with a resell model, and others love it. But I think the important thing is to have all of those buckets available to a partner.”


Jenne’s Shawn Berry

The technology solutions distributor announced Berry’s hiring last month. Berry in his new role oversees field sales, business development, product management and marketing. He specifically works in Jenne’s cloud brokerage (formerly known as master agent) business.

Berry has also worked for NetFortris, Telarus, IDT, Level 3 and EarthLink.

He spoke to us about his first month at Jenne, the company’s rebranding away from a master agent and its hybrid go-to-market model.

Channel Futures: Why did you join Jenne, and how have these initial weeks been?

Shawn Berry: I’m new, but I’m learning fast. I’m getting exposure to some of the teams – some of the inner personnel at Jenne – which has been really exciting. There’s a lot of stuff that I want to modify and change and help accelerate. Coming from that “master” world, I have a lot of ideas, and I’ve been exposed to a lot of things, specifically in the kind of partners that we’re trying to target. Obviously the profile of the partners that Jenne was getting is a lot different than, let’s sa,y a Telarus, an AppSmart or a TBI, are going after today. So we’re trying to attract those types of partners to us. And to do that, we need certain tools and certain things in place to make that happen.

CF: Could you explain how those partner profiles are different?

SB: Traditionally, Jenne has really gone after a lot of those VARs and resellers — people that are installing and supporting business phone equipment. And they’ve done a great job transitioning those partners to moving quicker into the cloud and selling them cloud products. What I’m used to and the type of personnel that I’m used to working with is someone that’s 100% cloud-based. Someone that is born in the cloud. They’re used to selling RingCentral, 8×8, Talkdesk, security products. They’ve never seen equipment. Some of them haven’t even heard of Avaya or Mitel before. So there’s a change of profile there. And those partners are definitely partners that we want to attract. Those are partners that other suppliers that we have sponsoring us want to go after, and our partner community wants it as well. So we want to give them what they need and want to be successful.

CF: You have the reseller community, and you have the people that are moving toward a commission-based broker model. Do you see many in your existing VAR base making that pivot?

SB: Some will. Some will stay right where they are, and we’ll help them do that. I think it’s up to the partner. Every partner has a different way that they want to do it. Some partners love residual, and they love the SPIFF. They love that model, and we’re going to keep them where they want to be. It might be based on opportunity. It might be based on what that partner has from a technical standpoint. Let’s say an MSP loves installing PoE equipment but doesn’t really want to touch the voice piece of it. It really varies based on the partner’s needs. Not everyone’s going to be comfortable with a resell model, and others love it. But I think the important thing is to have all of those buckets available to a partner so that he can choose. Ultimately, it’s about what the partner needs.

CF: Do you want to talk a little bit about the the rebrand that Jenne’s making, calling itself a technology solutions distributor?

SB: I’m coming in right when that’s all going on. I’m all for it. We want our partners comfortable. If that’s a word that makes some uncomfortable, then we …

… want to move away from it. And other companies have done that as well, and I applaud them for doing that. But I’m proud and I’m happy that we’re that we’re making that change. And I think it’s something that needs to be done.

CF: Do you think that rebrand adds clarity from a business perspective? Perhaps for a VAR partner that’s not used to that particular [brokerage] model?

SB: Yeah, there is a segment of MSPs, VARs and resellers that have been traditionally working for a distributor, and they’re new to the cloud brokerage model. They’re new to residual; they’re new to SPIFFs. That whole model is brand-new to them. This kind of let them see see that there is separate division of those solutions. I think it identifies the cloud brokerage seats more, which is really good. I think it will work in our favor. For those opportunities, they’ll be able to identify with Jenne, “Hey, this is the division that I need for these types of products.” It breaks it down for them.

CF: Jenne recently partnered with Zoom and several other vendors. Could you talk about the growth of the company’s supplier portfolio?

SB: It’s been really exciting. Since I’ve gotten here, I’ve probably heard from about 12-15 different providers in the cloud space. Many of them want to be involved. A lot of them want to be in the partner portfolio. They want to be a cloud option to a lot of our partners. Zoom is one of them, which is really exciting. That came about a month before I started. We have a lot of exciting ones, and those are changing. We’re not just a UCaaS provider. Now we’re moving more into IoT, and we’re moving more into security, even into network and contact center. For these opportunities our partners are running into on a daily basis, they’ll be able to leverage the Jenne channel team with these types of solutions and win those opportunities.

We recently compiled a list of 20 top UCaaS providers offering products and services via channel partners.

CF: How is Jenne is differentiating itself from other distributors and brokerages? What is your sweet spot?

SB: I would say any partner that has a combination of cloud services and equipment needs for their clients. Many of the [brokerages], as you know, are only supplying the these cloud services. And many of them are not even offering a reseller model to their partners. We can provide the equipment, we can provide cloud services and we can even provide a reseller option for some of our partners that want to offer that kind of solution. In addition to that, we have a dedicated team for cloud services. We have a dedicated team for equipment needs, that owns the support for any partner that does is trying to win an opportunity.

CF: Is there anything else you want to add?

SB: I’m just really excited to be here. Jenne was one of many companies that I was getting approached by about an opportunity, and the culture here and team leadership has been pretty awesome. So I’m very excited about the opportunity. And we’re actually growing our team quite a bit here too. We just had two senior partner manager start. One is Dexter Cameron out of Atlanta, covering the Northeast. And then Chuck Kelly is based in Florida. He’ll cover the Southeast. And many more to come.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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