Masergy Sees Rise In Platinum-Level Partners


Managed network and cloud services provider Masergy Communications is seeing steady growth in the number of its partners reaching Platinum status, the most elite level in its Global Partner Program, the company said in an interview with CRN.

According to John Dumbleton, senior vice president of business development at Masergy, the Plano, Texas-based company has seen its Platinum partner base go from five to 12 over the past year. He said most of those partners were existing Masergy partners who jumped to the Platinum status from the lower-end Gold or Certified levels.

"My objective is that every year that list will continue to grow," Dumbleton said. "The more Platinum partners I have, it's easier to focus time, attention and money on the ones that I know have a historical track record of performing for us."

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Masergy, which today has more than 100 partners in its Global Partner Program, offers four partner levels: Reseller, Certified, Gold and Platinum. The higher-level Gold and Platinum designations were introduced in 2011, adding new incentives and rewards to partners selling Masergy's WAN solutions.

Dumbleton said the four levels are based on partners' sales volumes. "The amount of compensation that [partners] get is based on different revenue tiers," he said. "Clearly, when you achieve the Gold level you've stepped to a certain level in terms of that compensation ladder, and when you hit Platinum you are really at the top end of that ladder."

In addition to higher commissions and spifs, partners at these higher Platinum and Gold levels get access to benefits such as customized joint-marketing strategies, co-marketing funds, special events and co-branded case studies. Partners with these designations also are eligible to participate in Masergy's Partner Advisory Board.

Dumbleton declined to say exactly how much of Masergy's sales go through the channel but said it represents the "majority" of the company's overall revenue. Masergy, which in 2011 was acquired by private equity firm ABRY Partners, partners with solution providers, systems integrators and telecom agents, as well as consultants and network and video equipment manufacturers.

Ian Kieninger, CEO of Avant Communications, a Chicago-based solution provider and cloud services distributor, said his Masergy sales were up roughly 30 percent to 40 percent year-over-year, with much of that growth stemming from Masergy's heavy investments in the cloud and cloud-based managed network services.

"We see additional pressures and demand for wide area networks to support sensitive applications such as voice or CRM. [The network] needs to handle more bandwidth, and that bandwidth needs to be on-demand. That's key," Kieninger said. "So with those key components, which are Masergy's strengths, they are coupling themselves very well with cloud growth."

Avant last week was recognized as Masergy's top-selling Platinum partner for the third year in a row, having crossed the $1 million mark in monthly revenue during Masergy's 2013 fiscal year.

PUBLISHED AUG. 6, 2013