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December 20, 2023
Former UJET channel leader Steve Infante just landed a gig as VP of American channel sales at contact center giant NICE. Before UJET, Infante served at Five9 in a channel-facing executive role. He also worked at Cisco and Accenture.
UJET announced it would hire the former Five9 channel executive in 2022, with Infante serving in the role a little less than two years. Now he's taking on a new challenge, leading America channel efforts at NICE.
NICE is newly recognized by Omdia, a part of Informa Tech, as a leader in its 2023-24 Customer Engagement Platforms research report. Of the 14 vendors evaluated, NICE scored the highest in the partners and ecosystem category. (Informa owns both Omdia and Channel Futures.)
NICE's Steve Infante
The firm expects to leverage Infante's decades of channel experience and most recent role as UJET channel leader to accelerate its channel efforts on the continent.
Infante appears to have the experience to justify his new post, having been designated one of Channel Futures' Top 20 UCC leaders in 2022. As such, we sat down with him to discuss his plans to transform the contact center company's channel efforts regarding sales in the Americas.
With more than 10 years of channel experience and 30 years in technology sales, Infante said he is "ready for the new challenge," calling it an offer that was "too good to pass up."
The former UJET channel leader said that six hours into the job, he's already jumped on internal calls, hoping to meet his team and see how things operate internally. He said his background and experience have prepared him to take on the position with the CCaaS organization.
"The channel has evolved over the past few years to expand into new routes to market, which include not only traditional technology solution distributors but also resellers, carriers, UCaaS providers, global systems integrators [and more]," he said.
Infante has experience developing and fostering those newer routes to market, "and I think that's a big part of the value that I bring to the table," the NICE channel executive shared. With a ripe channel organization, he is more than set up for probable success, leading the firm's hundreds of channel partners in sales.
"I'm not coming in trying to reinvent anything; it's already well-established. My job will be to take the train that's already rolling down the track and put more coal into the engine to get it to go a bit faster and make it run more efficiently, then explore newer underserved routes to market to build out and foster incremental growth."
"It's business as usual, but I'm here to listen and lead to see if I can adjust and improve our program in areas partners see fit," Infante said.
That will take a great deal of collaboration, he said. But it is a challenge he's ready to tackle head-on.
With the recent acquisition of LiveVox, Inafnte might have more tools in his toolbox to increase North American sales, where the company's most sizable share of partners exists in the United States and Canada.
The deal, worth a reported $350 million, will arm its partners with heftier data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI)/automation, agent assist and customer experience (CX) tools to add to their arsenal.
In the grander scheme of things, Inafnte said the acquisition also opens the door to new partners.
"There are partners that exist in that legacy space, and those are people we should talk to," Infante told us.
Contributing Editor, Channel Futures
Moshe has nearly a decade of expertise reporting on enterprise technology. Within that world, he covers breaking news, artificial intelligence, contact center, unified communications, collaboration, cloud adoption (digital transformation), user/customer experience, hardware/software, etc.
As a contributing editor at Channel Futures, Moshe covers unified communications/collaboration from a channel angle. He formerly served as senior editor at GetVoIP News and as a tech reporter at UC/CX Today.
Moshe also has contributed to Unleash, Workspace-Connect, Paste Magazine, Claims Magazine, Property Casualty 360, the Independent, Gizmodo UK, and ‘CBD Intel.’ In addition to reporting, he spends time DJing electronic music and playing the violin. He resides in Mexico.
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