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‘Unified’ Zoom Up Partner Program Launched As Video Giant Rakes In More Channel Business

Gina Narcisi

Zoom is now pulling in more than 25 percent of its business through the channel — a sharp rise compared to last years’ 10 percent. The UC giant told CRN it’s investing heavily in the channel as it unveils a new partner program and makes Zoom Phone available in a reseller model.

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Zoom Video Communications on Monday announced a brand-new partner program to unify all its partners: resellers, distributors, master agents, and sub-agents alike.

The Zoom Up Partner Program will let partners transact with the video giant and grow in the way that makes the most sense for their businesses, through products such as Zoom Meetings, Phone, and Contact Center. The program offers brand-new incentives that rewards partners based on their investment with Zoom, Channel Chief Laura Padilla told CRN.

The company has kept its partner programs simple up until now as it developed its channel strategy over the last four years. With more than 8,000 global partners now, Zoom required a “sophisticated” and mature channel architecture, Padilla said.

Zoom also announced that reseller partners for the first time will be able to sell Zoom Phone, the company’s cloud-based voice offering that was first introduced in 2019 and has seen success through the master and sub agent channel.

[Related: Zoom Intros First Native Cloud Contact Center Product Following Terminated Five9 Deal ]

The video giant’s partner program has grown significantly in the four years since Zoom first launched its partner program for resellers. Zoom is doing about 25 percent of its business through the channel and about 30 percent of its business outside the United States is through partners, the company told CRN.

Zoom Up, a program for all varieties of Zoom partners, offers three tiers: Enrolled, Sales, and Performance. The Sales and Performance levels will require partners to complete trainings in positioning Zoom products. The new program requires Performance-level partners to further build on their skill sets via three new competencies: Volumes or Sales, Zoom Phone, and Customer Success to support customers post-sale, Padilla said.

“Partners are rewarded as they move up through the program,” Padilla said. These higher-level partners will have access to marketing development funds and Performance-level partners will have access to rebates and dedicated channel managers, she added.

Zoom in December launched a Partner Demand Center for demand generation in any language, the company said.

“We have spent quite a bit of investment and time in our marketing spend for partners to help them really grow their business around Zoom. So, not only in headcount, but our partner marketing leader has hired quite a bit this year to be able to support our partners and their campaigns,” she said.

San Jose, Calif.-based Zoom is also opening up Zoom Phone to reseller partners for the first time. The offering has previously been available through the channel via the agent or referral partner model.

“This is a big deal because Zoom Phone is a highly regulated product and most of our competitors do this as a referral model,” Padilla said. “We’ve had partners who have asked to be able to resell Zoom Phone on their paper, especially in international markets because of currency.”

Zoom will still handle the telecom taxes on behalf of partners, the company said.

“Really our goal is to be able to be much more flexible with our partners and let them transact the way they want to transact and build the business they want to build in a much more flexible model that rewards them more as well,” she said.

Zoom wants partners to invest in the company by earning competencies and wrapping their own services around Zoom’s offerings. Padilla said she’d love for 25-30 percent of partners to sit in the Sales or Performance levels of the new program by next year.

“We are investing heavily in partnerships,” she said. “We know that is a next phase of growth for the company.”

Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for CRN.com. Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at gnarcisi@thechannelcompany.com.

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