Unified Communications Featured Article

RingCentral's Zane Long Offers Update on Channel

April 19, 2017

It’s early days for the RingCentral Inc. channel partner program, but things are happening fast, says Zane Long.

A little more than a year ago the pure play unified communications-as-a-service provider brought aboard channel veteran Long as its vice president of global channel sales. He was formerly vice president of the global strategic partner group at Vonage. He’s also served as national vice president of channel sales at Cbeyond, senior vice president of global partner sales at GENBAND, and vice president of the indirect channel and wholesale group at Airband Communications. Early in his career he was vice president of the national channel group at Focal Communications. As he has been national vice president of indirect channel at both Broadwing Communications and then its owner Level 3 Communications.

Long has been busy at RingCentral the last few months striking deals with new channel partners, launching new channel programs, and otherwise expanding the channel focus at the company.

Earlier this month, for example, RingCentral struck a deal with master agent PlanetOne Communications. That’s in addition to other notable channel partnerships RingCentral has forged recently.

For example, in August RingCentral announced Intelisys as a distribution partner. And in June the UCaaS company announced a partnership with master agent TBI.

Around the same time, the company unveiled the RingCentral Office Google Edition and announced it would be available through the hundreds of channel partners that sell the Google Apps product line. During our conversation earlier this month, Long said RingCentral has recruited 40 Google partners over just a four-month period.

“Google’s impact on the enterprise is significant as more CIOs and IT decision makers make the jump to the cloud and move away from legacy on-premise infrastructure,” Vlad Shmunis, chairman, founder, and CEO of RingCentral, said at the unveiling of RingCentral Office Google Edition in June. “Our recognition as a leader in the Gartner 2015 Magic Quadrant for UCaaS Worldwide and our status in the ‘Recommended for Google Apps’ program can give enterprises the confidence in RingCentral as a high quality, reliable, and secure communications solution. Together with Google, we look forward to helping enterprises maximize their cloud investments with an unprecedented, integrated communications and productivity solution.”  

In all, RingCentral has more than 4,000 partners, which contributed a quarter of the company’s fourth quarter revenue. The company’s channel partner list also includes CDW, Ingram Micro, Sandler Partners, and Westcon-Comstor.

Although some of these relationships were in place prior to Long’s arrival, the company’s channel effort had previously consisted of a group of inside channel managers working with a limited number of partners, he said. But today, Long added, RingCentral is focused on building a world-class channel effort, and it’s put in place 30 channel managers to help orchestrate that effort.

And just last week RingCentral launched its Channel Harmony: One to Infinity Program. This effort provides channel partners with the ability to work with vertical- and segment-specific subject matter experts. There’s harmony with this program because both the channel partner and the subject matter expert receive 100 percent commissions on their joint efforts.

Curtis Peterson, RingCentral’s senior vice president of operations, said the company has been growing 100 percent year over year in the enterprise space. Its call center business, for which seats are sold separately, is seeing 40 percent year over year growth. And RingCentral two years ago launched a professional services practice to support its move upmarket. That unit delivers “white glove” installations and has been growing at four- to five-digital percentage rates, according to Peterson.

The company serves 350,000 customers, most of which are in the U.S. But RingCentral is growing its business outside the U.S. as well. Just last month the company announced RingCentral Office is available across 13 European countries. That includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.




Edited by Maurice Nagle




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