Tely Labs Touts Big Channel Gains On Heels Of Partner Program Launch

Videoconferencing startup Tely Labs said this week it's making big strides in the channel, as demand for its SMB-focused and cloud-based video services continues to climb.

"People are starting to grasp what Tely Labs is really all about," said Rob Claus, vice president of sales for Tely Labs' U.S. and Canada business, in an interview with CRN.

Claus, who joined Tely Labs in January from Huawei, where he headed up U.S. channel sales, said Tely Labs today has roughly 150 North American partners, up from about 100 in June.

[Related: Tely Labs Shakes Up Partner Program, Continues SMB Videoconferencing Push]

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The Redwood City, Calif.-based company has also significantly expanded its distribution footprint, having added Synnex, ScanSource, Ingram Micro and Tech Data to its partner ranks since the start of the year. Tely Labs is also now working with Westcon in Europe.

Claus said Tely Labs sells 99 percent through partners, the remaining one percent representing the few deals the company sells direct through its online storefront. Tely Labs doesn't share revenue numbers, but Claus said channel sales of Tely Labs' flagship videoconferencing system, telyHD Pro, have shot up 400 percent since January.

"We are experiencing some pretty impressive growth from a revenue perspective, and some pretty impressive growth from a reseller recruitment perspective," Claus said. "I think it's all about us being interoperable and being affordable."

Rolled out in July 2013, telyHD Pro is designed to deliver all the high-end bells and whistles of an enterprise-grade videoconferencing system, but at a price point -- it starts at $649 -- that makes it more accessible to the SMB market.

The telyHD Pro system also supports industry-standard SIPs, meaning it can integrate and interoperate with other standards-based video systems, including those from Polycom, Cisco and LifeSize. It can also work with Blue Jean Networks' cloud-based videoconferencing system.

What's more, telyHD Pro also comes with a one- or multi-year subscription to telyCloud, a cloud-based service that provides six-party video conferencing without the need for any on-premise equipment besides the telyHD Pro appliance.

Peter Bean, director of innovation, at Pragmatic, a Toronto-based solution provider, said his company signed on as a Tely Labs partner three months ago because they needed a videoconferencing system that was specifically designed to meet the needs of smaller organizations.

"SMB has never really been a market that has been able to use videoconferencing. A lot of people will tell you that they didn't need it -- but that's not at all the case. They couldn’t afford it, but they absolutely needed it," Bean said, noting that he was introduced to Tely Labs through Blue Jeans.

"When we found [Tely Labs], it just made perfect sense, because they filled this niche in the market," he continued.

Bean said it's not just the price of Tely Labs' systems, but the ease with which they can be deployed and operated, that makes them so well suited for smaller organizations.

"A lot of people claim that about their videoconferencing products, but you know what -- they don't deliver," Bean said. "Tely Labs really does deliver."

Tely Labs in June launched a redesigned partner program aimed at simplifying the certification process and recruiting more solution providers. Among other changes, the new program condensed five partner tiers into three, and allowed partners to start selling bundled Tely Labs SKUs, rather than one-off products.

"Resellers seem to like it because it's a hassle-free program," Claus said on the new telyPartner Program. "Now what we are trying to do is really get the word out about Tely to attract more partners."