And we learn about Avaya's changing channel program.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

October 5, 2018

3 Min Read
Intelisys Supplier Partner of the Year Award 2018

Intelisys sales partners chose Masergy Communications as their favorite vendor.

The provider of software-defined networking, UCaaS, managed security and more took home top honors with the Intelisys Partners’ Choice Award. It’s a fitting award, as Intelisys led Masergy partners in overall sales last year.

Intelisys doled out recognition to plenty of suppliers Thursday morning.

CenturyLink, the largest supplier in the Intelisys’ stable, enjoyed the biggest revenue growth in the last year. Meantime, RingCentral earned no shortage of hardware. Partners voted for RingCentral as Intelisys’ top vendor for UCaaS and contact center, and they also voted Michael Zurn as the best channel manager in the Northeast. Their revenue growth was highest in 2018 relative to their size.

Partners’ Choice Vendors

  • UCaaS/CCaaS: RingCentral

  • Cloud: Evolve IP

  • Cable: Comcast

  • Overall: Masergy

Partners’ Choice Channel Managers

  • Southeast: Armando Valverde, AT&T

  • Northeast: Michael Zurn, RingCentral

  • Pacific: Michael Luck, Spectrum Enterprise

  • Pacific Northwest/Mountain: Mara Nursement, BCN

  • Midwest: Nicole Beckman, CenturyLink

  • Southwest: Charles Bates, Nitel

  • National Channel Manager of the Year: Cody Calhoun, Comcast

Based on Revenue

  • Top New Supplier: Five9

  • 2018 Top Percentage Growth: RingCentral

  • 2018 Top Revenue Growth: CenturyLink (still largest supplier in portfolio)

Intelisys announced the awards on the second day of Channel Connect, its annual partner conference. Read about the Wednesday keynote, where Andrew Pryfogle predicted a gigantic opportunity for partners in UCaaS.

Morning Keynote


Salesforce’s Tiffani Bova

The conference’s focus on customer experience continued Thursday with Tiffani Bova, Salesforce’s global customer growth and innovation evangelist. Bova laid out numbers that say the technology partners provide is barely half the conversation. According to Bova, 80 percent of customers said the experience a company provides is as important as its products, and 67 percent said they will pay more money “for a great experience.”

Hear Tiffani Bova at Channel Partners Evolution, Oct. 10, in Philadelphia. Her presentation, “Building Your Growth IQ: Making the Right Choices at the Right Time,” will be a highlight from Wednesday morning’s keynote session. It’s not too late to register!

“Customers will remember the experience they have with a brand (or person) much longer than the price they paid,” Bova said.


The unified communications provider, which is undertaking a major pivot from on-premises to cloud-first, has been making significant changes in its channel this year.

Avaya announced its cloud business unit in January and has since launched a master agent program for the the unit. Intelisys, Jenne and Telarus are members of the program.

Tom Phillips, vice president of cloud channel sales, told Channel Partners that the agent model is “ideal for …


Avaya’s Thomas Phillips

… born-in-the-cloud” companies.

Phillips, the former director of global channels for RingCentral, joined Avaya four weeks ago. His appointment came after Avaya hired Brian Snortheim, a former Time Warner Cable and Informa leader, as head of agent channel marketing, and VMware alumnus Paul Stephenson as cloud chief technologist. This trio of outsiders has helped give Avaya a “shot in the arm with born-in-the-cloud talent,” as Phillips puts it.

He and Snortheim said that Avaya’s well-established reputation gives it a solid foot-in-the-door to explain to partners the company’s new cloud-first approach.

“Anyone who’s talked to anyone at Avaya has a different vigor when it comes to cloud,” Phillips said. “This is a new age for Avaya.”


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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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