CRN Exclusive: Polycom Hires Juniper Veteran As North America Channel Chief

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Polycom, which is dramatically increasing its channel investment, has hired Juniper Networks channel veteran David Bankemper as its new North America Channel Chief.

Bankemper, a 28-year channel veteran who was formerly vice president of channel systems North America for Juniper, will be responsible for partner strategy, enablement and acquisition in the US.

Bankemper's appointment comes with Polycom Vice President of Global Partner Organization Nick Tidd mounting a full court press in the Microsoft Skype unified communications market against rival Cisco's Spark platform.

[Related: 8 Key Announcements At Microsoft Ignite 2017]

"Dave brings us tremendous channel loyalty and stability," said Tidd in an exclusive interview with CRN. "He spent nine years at Juniper and before that many years at Lenovo and IBM. Partners know Dave. What he brings to the team is a strong channel and business acumen so we can drive share of wallet."

Tidd, who was handling both US and Global duties before hiring Bankemper, said he is  counting on the channel veteran to build on Polycom's strong channel foundation. "We've got Polycom fans," he said. "I need superfans that eat, breathe and sleep Polycom."

That "superfan" charter means making sure that Polycom is getting the biggest share of wallet from its existing loyal partner network, said Tidd.

As part of the channel offensive, Polycom has tripled its inside sales force from 10 to 30 – chartered with working with partners to increase sales – and also added new engineering talent to help partners with presales configuration and price quotes.

Tidd said the new channel reps are driving a "high touch" model in the field with partners to go after new market opportunities with Microsoft Skype collaboration at the top of the list.

Polycom, which has a co-development agreement  with Microsoft, recently reannounced it is offering its full portfolio of voice and video technology on the Microsoft Teams platform.

Tidd is also significantly increasing the marketing investments aimed at growing the business with a new marketing collateral including "campaigns in a box."

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