Describe your company in five words or fewer.
Managed network vendor.
Tell us about how your channel program works.
Masergy has a three-tiered program. Our Platinum members are the largest national and global master agents, who receive the highest commission and market development funds, and we also have Silver and Gold members. Silver is our middle tier, while Gold members are new partners.
We offer training and certifications, with our security training being the most structured with certifications offered, while we also offer networking and unified communications education and training.
Our channel program is relationship-based. We use metrics to segment partners into lifecycle stages based on their interaction with us. The lifecycle stages are:
Unaware - agents that do not know Masergy
Engage - agents that are aware of Masergy
Activation - agents that are a good fit with Masergy and are being trained, getting certified
Deepen - agents who have sold at least one Masergy deal and have a business development plan in place
Protected - agents that have sold three or more Masergy deals and are actively looking for more
These lifecycle stages mean that the partners get appropriate information sent to them at the appropriate time. We gradually advance our partners' knowledge and awareness over time.
We are currently beta testing and have almost completed our first partner portal, which goes \ further than just having a partner log in and look at deals and how they will be paid. For example, it offers lead sharing and account mapping for the 'protected' stage.
What do you think is the most challenging trend in the channel today? Why?
It boils down to one word — confusion. With the complexity of offerings in a crowded marketplace, it's challenging to find the right technology product/solution based on each prospective customer's needs.
Plus, information overload from vendors and analysts creates additional murkiness. This can bog down the sales cycle, which isn't a positive for business.
If you had to give your channel partners one piece of advice, what would it be?
We advise partners to become experts in their field. To be competitive, they need to have a keen grasp on solutions that can help their customers improve profitability and navigate the complex market landscape.
What are the three most important things partners need from vendors to be successful?
2). Business alignment
3). Delivery on commitments and expectations
What is your favorite conference location and why?
I'm partial to Scottsdale, Arizona. It's away from the hustle and bustle, which allows for a more relaxed environment ideal for building and sustaining strong business relationships.
What IT trends do you expect to see dying out over the next 18 months to two years?
We can expect to see a number of technology stalwarts decline over the next couple of years, some of which might surprise a lot of people.
I believe there will be a significant drop in WAN acceleration, as well as an approach to network security that is solely focused on the perimeter.
From a more practical standpoint, it isn't out of the realm of possibility to say goodbye to traditional desktop phones as mobile adoption proliferates.
Keith D. Hatley is the SVP of global channel sales at Masergy Communications, where he has led the channel sales teams worldwide since 2014 after joining the company in 2011 as VP of sales, Central U.S.
He joined Masergy from Cloud Communications, where he spent a year and three months as managing director. Prior to this he spent four years at Paetec as VP/GM of western regional sales.
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