Intermedia Tuesday said its cloud services are now integrated with Salesforce, ConnectWise and QuickBooks.
The cloud services company, best known for its hosted Exchange offering, lets its Partner Portal integrate with products from the three vendors so solution providers can now streamline workflows and processes.
"On average, our customers use around a dozen different cloud applications. We looked at everything and asked which platforms would make our partners' lives easier if they were integrated with our Partner Portal," said Mike Gold, president of Intermedia. "And these are just the first three. We've got a list of others we're working on."
Through the Intermedia Partner Portal, which Gold said touches more than 350,000 users, solution providers can, for example, synchronize customer account data from the portal to Salesforce and create new accounts in Salesforce that are automatically transferred to the portal. In addition, Intermedia's portal integration lets partners connect their billing systems and catalog of Intermedia products and services to ConnectWise and QuickBooks, among other capabilities.
Not only will the integrations make life easier for existing Intermedia partners, Gold said, but they'll help bring in new solution providers to the cloud services company. "I think this makes us more attractive to prospective partners because now it's easier to do business with Intermedia," he said.
Erik Bodor, director of information technology at cloud solution provider GSATi, an Intermedia partner based in Denton, Texas, said the integrations are a big plus for his business, which uses ConnectWise's IT platform. "This is great news because it can be a challenge to support and integrate all of the different vendor platforms and services out there in the cloud," he said.
The third-party integration announcement is the second major channel move Intermedia has made this month. Last week, the company revealed it had raised cloud commissions for Advisor Partners, in which solution providers act as referral agents and off-load billing and support to Intermedia.
Under Intermedia's new commission system, Advisor Partners can make up to 66 percent more monthly recurring revenue from each new customer account, depending on the cloud service. Partners offering Intermedia's Hosted PBX and other cloud voice services will now receive a 10 percent commission on monthly recurring revenue, a 66 percent jump from the previous commission level.
In addition, Advisor Partners offering hosted Exchange, Lync, SharePoint and SecuriSync now will get 8 percent commissions, a 33 percent increase from previous levels. Partners also will receive an additional $100 for every Hosted PBX product sold for a limited time (the up-front payout will be $25 after the promotional period ends).
Intermedia said the commissions are guaranteed for the life of the customer account. Gold said he believes the increase in commissions will help differentiate Intermedia with solution providers looking for a strong cloud partner.
"I can't speak to other vendors [who've lowered their cloud app commissions], but we understand that there are hundreds of thousands of partners out there trying to make money, and that the majority of IT spending goes through the channel," Gold said. "We want to support them and make their Intermedia business stronger.
Gold said the objective of both the commissions increases and the new third-party integrations is to grow Intermedia's indirect sales business. Currently, the company does about 45 percent of its business through the channel, but 60 percent of new client revenue generated in 2013 came from its 14,000 partners.
"We're focused on making the channel our primary route to market this year," Gold said.
PUBLISHED MARCH 18, 2014