April 6, 2018
**Editor’s Note: Click here for our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.**
The new program aims to make it easier for partners to understand and to do business with Lifesize. Based on feedback from more than 950 Lifesize partners in all major geographic areas, the program’s goal is to maximize margins for partners, while arming them with the “best video conferencing technology to strengthen their collaboration offerings and business,” it said.
Tim Maloney, Lifesize’s senior vice president of worldwide channels, tells Channel Partners that, as any channel partner looks at their business, “they want a net gain of new partners, and want the partners they have to be more effective … our old program didn’t really address those elements, but pushed on our distribution partners to take that on themselves.”
Lifesize’s Tim Maloney
“The new partner program has financial incentives that reward distribution partners for finding net new partners,” he said. “It costs money to do recruiting, and we want to help offload some of that financial burden of recruiting net new partners and finding them. At the same time, when do you find them, we will reward you more — we will pay you more for those new relationships. We’re recognizing that somebody has a job to do and it costs money, and we want to be a part of that.”
In addition, the previous program didn’t really recognize distribution partners that enabled partners to upgrade from the bronze to silver level, “other than a thank you,” Maloney said. Now, Lifesize rewards distribution partners for the “great job of driving more revenue and monetizing those relationships,” he said.
“The other big enhancement addressed the issue of performance gates,” he said. “Our legacy program had fixed gates of performance — if you grew your business and reached these fixed dollar amounts, we would give you a bonus. Everybody in the ecosystem competed against the same numbers. While that’s simple to implement, it alienates a lot of people. Partners may not be as big as another and may have different markets and seasonality. In the new program we tell partners, “compete against yourself and compete against your own historical performance.'”
For example, in the first quarter, partners will compete against their own performance for the same quarter of the previous year, Maloney said. The program now pays out fixed percentages for growth, a slight change based on partner feedback, he said.
“Finally, in the world of SaaS, everybody does total contract values and multiyear engagements,” he said. “We weren’t rewarding with a special incentive for doing multiyear engagements. We changed that so our partners get bonuses for multiyear deals.”
The biggest barrier we removed was complexity, Maloney said.
“My view is if it’s simple, partners can know how to achieve (and overachieve),” he said. “We now have monthly reporting in …
… all of our programs, we share with people their published goals, their attainment reports, how they’re standing and their potential earnings. Because the reporting is cleaner, partners can be more proactive with it. It’s much more effective than a quarterly letter that says this is how you did and didn’t really break down how it was calculated and how they got there.”
The new program has improved upon previous programs by better promoting and rewarding the “right kinds of reseller behavior and by providing resources to the resellers to grow their business with Lifesize,” said Chris Harmon, owner and president at i2i technologies, a Lifesize reseller partner.
“It is so refreshing to have a manufacturer that asks its resellers how they can help us grow our business with them, but Lifesize doesn’t stop there,” he said. “They listen and follow up with much-needed resources to help its resellers maximize their success. The turnaround in the quantity and quality of support for the channel in the last year has been amazing and has made a very positive impact on my business.”
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