Discuss channel strategy with the Vonage Channel Manager
Curt Allen is SVP Vonage and Channel Chief. He’s also a relatively new recruit, as well as someone who took a less traditional path to get where he is today. Allen has nearly two decades of experience practicing what he preaches if you will. During a recent meeting with Allen, he gave me insight into the very role he thinks he spent his career preparing for.
He was a partner and co-owner of a master agency, which was eventually sold in 2016. The irony of where he is today is that when Vonage came to market, his agency was one of the first partners to sign up to sell the company’s hosted voice telephony systems. Prior to that, he worked in the collaboration industry for what is now Intrado, where he led the channel for partners and resellers.
“My experience is first as a partner, that’s how I make my decisions now as head of the Vonage chain, thinking, what impact will this have on our partners?”
Vonage has evolved its channel program over the past few years and placed more emphasis on the channel as the primary go-to-market strategy, I’m told. He says his role is to give gas to what his predecessor started, the impetus towards the channel’s evolution into a primary sales medium.
Today, there are a host of new delivery models, like the Vonage Communications Platform – a powerful combination of unified communications, contact center solutions and communications APIs – all built on one platform. flexible and integrated unified form. “We want to find the partners in our scope who want to evolve with the channel and those who have the appetite for innovation to sell our solutions.”
In total, Allen told me that Vonage has thousands of commissionable partners he works with around the world, but added that the company is always looking for new participants who want to be able to move upmarket with the team. from Vonage. Allen says he hopes to be able to more than double the number of active partners Vonage works with during his tenure with the company. COVID-19 has affected the chain community, according to Allen. “Many were used to selling in person, but COVID-19 has forced us all to find new ways to stay connected and continue doing business.
Many of our partners are using our solutions to stay connected during the pandemic, and they’re leveraging their own experience to close sales of Vonage products that enable the kind of business continuity, remote working, and remote service delivery that are now essential. He acknowledges that COVID-19, therefore, has not had a direct impact on sales, adding, “The business is there, but the method and how we go to market continues to play out.” Events like partner get-togethers are even virtual, and he says they’ve been better attended than in-person events.
The future of the Channel Partner landscape is sure to be forever impacted by the novel Coronavirus, and leaders will need to stay creative to ensure Channel Partners remain successful.