Polycom unifies partner programs

By Chad Berndtson, on Jul 13, 2012 8:01 AM
Filed under Communications

In line with brand shift.

Polycom has taken its various channel partner programs and combined them into one umbrella program, the Polycom Partner Network, reorganising its channel and alliance partners and adding an ISV-centric developer program to the mix.

The Polycom Partner Network includes seven partnership categories:

  • Strategic Alliances, vendors that ally with Polycom and its RealPresence platform for joint business development;
  • Technology Partners, which work with Polycom on joint product development and marketing relationships;
  • Developers, which build offerings to integrate with RealPresence software;
  • Two-Tier Distributors;
  • Solution Advisors, Polycom's traditional VARs;
  • System Integrators, Polycom's traditional contractor and consultancy-type integrator partners; and
  • Service Providers, which offer network services and transport, or classify as MSP or video-as-a-service partners.

All members of previous Polycom programs such as Choice, Open Communications Network and ARENA are now being categorised under the Partner Network.

Tracey Newell, Polycom's executive vice president of global sales, said the new structure will help Polycom partners better specialise.

"The new Polycom Partner Network broadens our global partner ecosystem so that partners can focus on what they do best, and easily find and collaborate with the right partners in our ecosystem to deliver complete and customised unified communications and video collaboration solutions for every customer, worldwide," Newell said in a statement.

In addition to the structural changes, Polycom is promoting a new partner portal and marketing resources to help partners market Polycom software.

There are two new authorised Polycom marketing tags: "Polycom Ready," reserved for devices, networking products and applications that interoperate with Polycom RealPresence; and "Polycom Powered," for more intensive solutions that integrate or embed Polycom wares.

The moves are in line with a recent shift in Polycom's corporate branding to focus on software.

The company in May unveiled a new corporate logo and marketing overhaul designed to position Polycom as as a video-centric UC provider with a substantial software footprint, moving away from businesses such as wireless handsets, which Polycom is in the process of divesting.

Specific to the channel, Polycom also launched new specialisations and certifications at its TEAM partner conference this past spring.

"It's a move toward a very bona fide software play," Kate Hutchison, Polycom's chief marketing officer, told CRN in May. "What was encouraging at TEAM was to see the partner community having had a full six months to digest what we've been announcing and see the investment we're making in them."

This article originally appeared at crn.com

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