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November 29, 2023
Wednesday marks the official launch of the unified communications company's channel partner program, which the company intends to expand and scale for the next few years on a global scale.
While the enterprise communication business has long had a wholesale provider partner program, the firm already has a thriving program with more than 4,000 partners. This is the launch of its formalized channel program that "brings an IT channel strategy to telecom," Adnon Dow, senior vice president of global channel and alliances at Bandwidth, told Channel Futures.
At launch, the program has more than 20 partners that span the technology, innovation and independent software vendor (ISV) partner space. Those include Miratech, NICE, Five9, and others it plans to sell with, to and through.
First launching its formal channel partner program in the United States, further expansion into Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East are to come, Dow shared.
The channel is eager to sell and to get boots on the ground to do much of the hard work of deploying and managing systems targeted at enterprises. Dow says Bandwidth is looking forward to this as they have historically gone to market via the wholesale channel.
Bandwidth's Adnon Dow
"Traditionally, we've gone to market through a wholesale channel, as we didn't traditionally support or interface with end-users/customers," Dow said.
Over the past year, Dow said, Bandwidth grew its routes to market to allow those such as MSPs and system integrators in the channel partner ecosystem to integrate Bandwidth's offering into the enterprise world.
"We quickly realized we needed to support enterprises outside of how we were, we didn't have professional services and we didn't do integration," said Dow. "We provide the underlying technology to enable unified communications and collaboration platforms to operate, so bringing in channel partners enables the end-to-end solution," the Bandwidth executive said.
It's this support that customers are also enthusiastic about, Dow told us, adding that channel partners have opened the company up to a new market, one ripe for the picking.
This is not Dow's first go at setting up channels. He's been in the business for more than 30 years, having previously worked at Cisco and Motorola. He hopes to leverage this breadth of experience to earn the firm a "more predictable revenue stream," he said.
Now was the opportune moment to launch an official channel partner program Dow said, "as a lot of enterprises wanted to have direct relationships. We knew where our strengths were, along with the important part a partner plays in many of these enterprises. So we launched our program now because we wanted to unlock long-term value benefits for customers and partners," Dow said.
Dow hopes to target the businesses that have yet to switch to the cloud and those looking to leverage their current infrastructure by creating a hybrid solution, recognizing that not everyone is ready to move to the cloud. He told us that this push to the cloud will benefit Bandwidth and its newfound channel partner program as there is a grand opportunity in migrating potentially millions of endpoints across the globe to the cloud.
While not everyone is ready to move 100%, hybrid solutions, Dow said, are in fashion.
"I want to put some of that capability in my private cloud. I also want to be able to support my distributed workforce," Dow said.
And this will all be possible via its newfound channel partner program, he told us.
Dow believes the journey to the cloud is gradual for some and instant for others, stressing the significance of companies being able to move at their own pace rather than what he called a "rip and replace."
That migration market could be smaller than previously thought, however, as Pluralsight's State of Cloud Report for 2023 found that 70% of organizations report more than half of their infrastructure resides in the cloud.
An additional 49% of respondents said "they’re actively moving more of their data to the cloud." All of this could indicate that the trend is less migration than it is rapid adoption.
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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