Ooma Redefining Channel Program Through the Technology StackOoma Redefines Channel Program via Technology Stack
Ooma's head of channel said it's the company's stack that will lead to partner success. This, coupled with its sales approach.
November 7, 2023
Kathy Mazza is head of channel sales and serves as ecosystem chief at Ooma. In that role for the past six months, Mazza says she's already made numerous deliberate transformations to the company's approach to channel partners.
Before moving to Ooma, Mazza spent almost five years in distinct channel-focused positions with 8x8. She likewise had a five-year stint at CenturyLink Business, telling Channel Futures her work there prepared her for where she finds herself today, as channel leader at the Palo Alto-based business and home phone services firm.
Ooma likewise flirts with providing PBX services, customer experience tools, Microsoft Teams direct routing, video conferencing, VoIP solutions, softphones, hosted PBX solutions and more.
Mazza says it is this portfolio diversity that extends the potential for so much promise to channel partners, noting they are keen to expand that ecosystem beyond North America, as the company has no partner presence outside the region. The firm does, though, exist in 20 countries, as we learned in our sit-down at the Channel Futures Leadership Summit held last week in Miami Beach, Florida.
As a 20-year-old publicly traded company, Mazza says it was five years ago that Ooma began to double-down on its efforts in the small business and enterprise sector. She noted that her six-month tenure with the company has resulted in accelerating efforts on the partner front.
Ooma's Kathy Mazza
"We started our channel partner program five years ago, with two of those years happening during COVID-19," she told us, hinting at obvious challenges that she says Ooma is eager to overcome. "But we saw a huge opportunity in POTS (plain old telephone systems) replacement as there are roughly 30 million open lines ready to be replaced with newer technologies."
Leveraging a Robust Technology Stack to Reduce Overbilling
Ooma's technology stack is where partners stand to benefit, Mazza told us. She said that Ooma's channel partners are helping to reduce $1,000 enterprise telephony bills to something more manageable, adding that they've done so via a robust software technology stack that creates an end-to-end experience.
There has also been what she calls an “aggressive approach to the hospitality space and replacing many of their outdated telephone systems.” If you have recently stayed in a hotel, you might have noted that even the fanciest ones often have out-of-date phone systems.
"It is restricting because what do you ever really use your room phone for? Typically, for wake-up calls, ordering room service, etc. This begs the question, why should that be so incredibly costly? We have figured out how to reduce that price," Mazza said.
Ooma has done as much via a partnership with Jazzware, which extends a property management system integration.
"Think about hotels, which are usually about twenty years behind in technology, which is something we want to change," she said.
Marketing Materials at Partners' Fingertips
"We've scrubbed our branding away from all our materials so channel partners can access them and add their branding to them," Mazza said.
She also said that her channel team is equally responsible for partner engagement, recruitment, and taking sales through the sales cycle alongside partners.
"This happens and does not cause partners to make less on a sale; it is about quality assurance to us," she added.
Mazza further told Channel Futures that channel teams don't need to be behind a desk.
"They should be out there with partners," she said, noting that this showcases the company's dedication to partner prosperity in a space that often feels overcrowded with those who see them as distinguishable.
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