New Masergy Global Channel Chief: Traditional Telco Channel Should Make Room for VARs & MSPs
Masergy, the fast-growing hybrid networking provider, is upping their channel game. This week, it promoted William Madison to VP of global channel development, and he’s determined to bring Masergy’s partner program up-to-date and make it reflective of current channel trends.
Madison isn’t new to Masergy’s channel, having led teams within the division for the last six years. He carries with him a familiarity with the partner side of the channel, too; prior to his tenure at Masergy, he worked to develop channel programs for resellers. Over the last decade, Madison has seen significant changes in the traditional telco channel, and is working to position Masergy and its partners to achieve the one success factor he talks about the most: having a measurable, positive impact on end users’ businesses.
“To be able to make an impact and show how companies can make a change, how they can use technology as an asset to actually change their business—that’s really been in the transformation in what’s normally been our traditional telco space,” Madison told Channel Futures. “If agents that came from the telco days of old weathered the storm correctly, they’re able to impact a lot more than they did in the past.”
One of Masergy’s and Madison’s primary area of concentration is crafting the company’s channel program to leverage the recent blurring of lines between the IT channel and the telco channel. In the last two years, the company has seen big rewards with bringing VARs and MSPs into the fold. Recently, it hired a director of alternate channels specifically focused on developing these IT partners and expand Masergy’s channel reach.
Telco partners, says Madison, are starting to recognize that there is big opportunity working with IT partners, who have traditionally focused more on the perimeter. In turn, VARs and MSPs used to paying sales reps off of margins and one-time sales can leverage the agent model and experience to advance their own practices. It’s what Madison called a true harmony—a win-win.
But Masergy has some work to do in order to facilitate that harmony with the VARs and MSPs that have recently become its partners. The company has recently made a lot of changes to its program, using more analytics to predict behavior of how partners can benefit from their relationships with Masergy. The company’s program now encompasses joint biz dev and lead gen programs, targeted SPIFFs, and—perhaps most importantly to Madison—expanded training and certification programs.
The IT channel presents a huge opportunity for the provider to expand its reach, and Madison is determined not to skip a single step in enabling partners to learn and leverage the networking space.
“We’re spending an incredible amount of time to make sure when we reach a certain tipping point with our partners in training and education, it’s not only about what Masergy does, but about what the industry landscape is now.”
A big part of that training is educating veteran master agents on how to focus on business outcomes instead of selling on speeds and feeds. Madison says that everyone—vendors and partners alike—is starting to realize that in many cases, it’s the applications that drive change to end users’ businesses.
“Most of our partners are getting very good at knowing what the applications are that are driving change for those particular opportunities or their existing customer base,” says Madison. “It’s been the great evolution of the traditional telco agent.”