Sonus Networks Cements Channel Gains With Refreshed Partner Program


Michael Cassady, director of operations at The Via Group, a Woodlands, Texas-based Sonus partner, said Sonus' commitment to the channel has grown increasingly clear over the past several months.

"From our standpoint, they have certainly caught the attention of our CTO in terms of the types of products that they are moving toward and the type of strategy they are developing," said Cassady, who, like many Sonus partners, came into Sonus' channel through its June 2012 acquisition of Network Equipment Technologies (NET).

Cassady noted that there are few items he would like to see added to Sonus' partner program down the line, such as deal registration, but that the Sonus team has been very responsive to The Via Group's feedback.

"[Sonus] has been very open, honest and communicative on all of this," Cassady said.

Sonus' channel growth underscores the momentum the Westford, Mass.-based company has seen in the enterprise market, in general, over the past year. Once exclusively focused on the service provider or carrier space, Sonus has been aggressively trying to grow its enterprise footprint, particularly as more and more enterprises embrace SIP as a means to support a diverse set of UC applications hosted in the cloud.

"Our issue has been that our SBCs were designed for tier-one telephone companies, as the backbone infrastructure, but the market is really in the enterprise," Sonus' Abbott said. "As enterprises move to SIP infrastructures, they need these SBCs to be able to deliver security and the call control and the functionality that SIP requires."

According to Abbott, Sonus' route-to-market in the enterprise will, ultimately, be 100 percent through the channel.

"Our legacy business is large telcos and that will be direct. A lot of our business from tier-two or tier-three service providers is now indirect, and our enterprise business is expected to be 100 percent through the channel," he said.

Abbott said Sonus is aiming to have its enterprise business account for about half of its overall revenue in the coming years. In the first quarter of 2013, roughly 45 percent of Sonus' revenue stemmed from enterprise sales, including what Sonus called a "large one-time SBC deployment" within a U.S. federal agency. Excluding the federal deal, Sonus' enterprise revenue in the first quarter accounted for 15 percent.

PUBLISHED JULY 10, 2013