Vonage is banking on new partner program enhancements to help it expand from the residential market to the commercial market.
In November, Vonage acquired Vocalocity, an Atlanta-based provider of hosted VoIP services for the SMB market, and renamed the wholly owned subsidiary Vonage Business Solutions. Following the acquisition, Vonage Business Solutions has rolled out new partner program features to capitalize on a strong 2013 and take the next step in Vonage's channel expansion.
"Last year was our most successful in the channel, and because of that we doubled down back into the program," said Jim Regan, senior director of channels and vertical markets at Vonage Business Solutions. "We're investing in revamping our partner portal as a single source where partners can come for training materials, marketing collateral, quote sheets and more."
Currently, Vonage Business Solutions has approximately 500 channel partners and three dedicated partner programs, including its Premier Partner Reseller program, Preferred Partner Referrals program and Wholesale Partner program for white labeling. In recent months, the company has made significant changes to its Premier Partner program by adding new incentives like go-to-market planning, cooperative marketing campaigns, customer account registration and lead tracking tools, and a refurbished partner portal, Regan said.
In addition, Vonage Business Solutions also introduced a fourth partner program, dubbed the Co-Brand Partner program. "The Co-Brand program represents a hybrid of white labeling and our resellers. It's for somebody who wants more branding opportunity with the materials available," said Regan. "With it, partners can commit more to product volume for Vonage Business Solutions customers."
Justin Porter, owner of Williamsville, N.Y.-based Agnito Technical Solutions, has been a Vonage Business Solutions partner for the past three years. As a Premier Partner, the monthly incentives and high commissions are great benefits of being involved, said Porter.
"Their commissions are extremely high compared to other vendors, and it’s a reliable platform that is fairly lucrative," said Porter. "With the Premier Partner program, we can go out, cross customers in need of telephony solutions and benefit from their sales mentoring."
As Vonage Business Solutions continues its focus on partner programs this year, the company will be introducing a marketing development fund (MDF) program for partners in the coming weeks, Regan said. "Everything we do and have done in the last two years is driven by the feedback we get from our partners, and this is a new initiative for 2014," said Regan.
"With the MDF program, partners can bring to us or identify opportunities where they think they could advertise, conduct a webinar, host a breakfast or whatever the opportunity may entail, and we'll provide them with MDF dollars to promote their lead generation."
PUBLISHED FEB. 20, 2014