Polycom: New Partner Program Is Less Complex, More Transparent

Polycom unveiled a revamped global partner program Wednesday that includes improved incentives for solution providers that show the most commitment and profitability and embrace the entire Polycom portfolio.

"My vision is to provide a single world-class industry benchmark program that provides the strongest incentives for our partners to invest and grow their business with Polycom," said Mark Arman, vice president of worldwide channel sales, in an interview with CRN. "I want our program to be held up as a stunning example. … We want to see our partners become more excited by our program and Polycom as a vendor. I want our partners to become raving fans."

The San Jose, Calif.-based videoconferencing vendor has more than 7,000 partners worldwide.

[Related: Polycom Taps Former ShoreTel Exec As New Global Channel Lead]

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Dale Bottcher, senior vice president of sales and operations at AVI-SPL, a Polycom partner and No. 49 on CRN's 2014 Solution Provider 500 list, said AVI-SPL is beginning to align itself more closely with Polycom.

"We are tightening our alignment and account strategy with our Polycom sales teams," said Bottcher. "We understand the added value that our alignment brings us when working with our clients and new targets."

Partner profitability, growth and success are central to Polycom's new partner program, said Arman.

"We have been designing a program so that those partners who invest more and who are more successful through that investment and who embrace more of the whole offering -- in terms of hardware, software and services -- will be the most profitable under this program," he said. "If you are a partner who is not investing, if you are a partner who is not being opportunistic in our channel program, you won't be nearly as profitable."

Kirk Muffley, director of enterprise sales at Whitlock, a Polycom partner and No. 98 on CRN's 2014 Solution Provider 500 List, said Whitlock intends to take "full advantage" of the new program.

"This will recognize and reward partners, like Whitlock, who have substantial international experience and investments, and will enable us to transfer even more benefits and support to our customers," said Muffley.

The new partner program is less complex and takes a more rational approach to certifications, volume and growth requirements, said Arman, and includes a "much higher level" of transparency. A key strategy in the program is called "Business Velocity."

"We're really looking to accelerate decision cycles, accelerate sales cycles and ultimately drive the program as it supports our overall world-class vision, where it's really supporting our core tenets of highly profitable, highly scalable growth," said Arman.

NEXT: Polycom Launches EagleEye, NoiseBlock Technology

Polycom last month unveiled its EagleEye Producer, which it touts as an industry-first camera innovation that advances facial recognition technology to create a more natural, productionlike experience. It can find everyone who is participating in a discussion and automatically frames them for clear view, even when new people join or leave the room.

The company also unveiled its NoiseBlock technology, a new feature of the Polycom RealPresence Group Series, which can automatically eliminate extraneous noises, such as paper shuffling and keyboard typing, from interrupting conversations.

Whitlock's Muffley said 2014 was a record revenue year for the company and its purchasing volume with Polycom reflects that growth and validates the strength of Polycom's portfolio, especially the RealPresence platform.

"With the new global program as a catalyst, we will help people use video across every part of their business," said Muffley.