August 21, 2018
The hybrid IT provider’s former channel chief, Dave Sroka, now serves as vice president of the company’s National Carrier Partner Program. In addition to investments in its channel program, Flexential also is adding resources to support the expansion of its connectivity portfolio and network reach.
Flexential’s Melissa McCoy
McCoy was with Sungard AS for nine years, and prior to that she held channel management positions with Alcatel-Lucent and Lucent Technologies.
Flexential provides colocation, cloud, connectivity, compliance and professional services.
In a Q&A with Channel Partners, McCoy talks about her plans for Flexential’s partner program and what she’s hearing from partners.
Channel Partners: What made you want to join Flexential?
Melissa McCoy: I noticed what Flexential was doing to bring two companies and their partner programs together – as well as the additional investments to grow the channel – and I wanted to be part of that. It is an exciting time to be in the channel as we continue moving to a hybrid IT, multicloud world as clients are navigating their respective digital transformations. With Flexential’s national footprint and broad portfolio of cloud, connectivity and professional services that partners can choose from, I am confident that we can add value to our partners, helping them grow their business and satisfy their customers’ complex IT needs.
CP: What’s your take on Flexential’s current partner program? Are changes needed?
MM: The channel is core to Flexential’s strategy. The company has successfully integrated the best elements of two very strong channel programs from Peak10 and ViaWest. Partners are now benefiting from new, flexible contract options, increased channel resources and a comp-neutral model. As we look through the rest of this year and into 2019, we are focusing on further integration of the systems and processes that enhance the overall partner experience and make it easier to do business with us. We will be working on enhancements to the partner portal and enablement materials, as well as working behind the scenes to build in better automation. Other elements that we’re focusing on include visibility for lead registration, opportunity tracking and commission statements. In short, I’m excited to build on the great momentum that has already been started since the two programs were combined.
CP: How will your prior experience come into play in this new role?
MM: I have been in the channel business for almost 20 years now serving in a variety of roles across channel programs, sales and operations. In that time, I have really seen the channel evolve substantially, specifically as the industry moves further into the cloud and services space. Because of this shift, channel programs have had to evolve to better support partners as they moved into selling more value-added services or shifting their business to a recurring revenue model. My experience building channel programs from the ground up and my background in the cloud and managed-services space puts me in a great position to help Flexential continue to …
… scale the business and build an industry-leading program that can help drive value for our partners as they grow their businesses.
CP: What sort of feedback have you received from partners? Are there things they like and don’t like about the current program?
MM: Partners are very pleased with Flexential’s program as we have been able to take the best elements from the two former companies and integrate them into one solid strategy. Our partners feel the increased resources we are putting into the program as the team has doubled in size to provide better support for our partners. We also recognize that having a comp-neutral channel model is something our partners value as it helps remove any potential channel conflict. As we move forward, we are going to continue to focus on enablement to ensure we are expanding the tools, resources and programs that make it easier for our partners to recognize opportunities and win more business with us.
CP: What are the biggest challenges facing Flexential and its partners, and what will be your role in addressing those?
MM: Cloud has really changed the game in regards to how customers are looking to solve their IT challenges and achieve better business outcomes. This has created tremendous opportunities for partners, because, as trusted advisers, partners are in a unique position to help customers decide what applications should stay on premises versus off premises, private cloud versus public cloud, etc. This type of consulting can really help partners differentiate themselves in the market and grow their recurring revenue stream as they add new services to their portfolio. By working with Flexential, partners are able to bring a full portfolio of colocation, connectivity, cloud and professional services to their customers with a single provider. We are also going to be putting added focus on partner enablement and developing the tools and resources to help our partners better identify and close new revenue opportunities. You will see us launching updated partner playbooks, partner and client success stories, and training to support our partners in positioning Flexential’s service portfolio with customers.
CP: What do you hope to have accomplished a year from now?
MM: My goal for the Flexential Partner Network is to make it easy for partners to do business with us and create more business opportunities together. With continued integration of the programs and a focus on partner enablement and automated processes, Flexential is well-positioned to be the service provider of choice for our partners for years to come.
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