CRN Exclusive: New Vonage Partner Ecosystem Connects Partners To Build Custom Communications Solutions
Vonage is helping its partners connect with application designers, vendors and integration providers to build custom solutions and create compelling customer service experiences for end customers.
The cloud communications provider is launching the Nexmo Connect Partner Program but, rather than operate like a traditional partner program in which solution providers are rewarded for doing business with a company, the aim is to have providers benefit from each other's strengths and create unique programmable communications solutions.
"We are breaking from the norm," Mark Summerson, director of Nexmo's Global Partner Program, said. "The traditional channel model is about scaling sales reach. This is about openness and helping [partners and providers] collaborate among themselves."
The new program is based on Communications-Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) technology Nexmo, which Vonage acquired in 2016 for $230 million. Nexmo is now Vonage's API platform for chat, SMS and voice APIs used by enterprises to build customer service-focused applications. Nexmo Connect partners will have access to Vonage's Nexmo platform.
Nexmo Connect will feature an extensive group of partners, and the company already has 110 on board, Summerson said. The providers are ready to work with solution providers to build communications solutions, as well as on selling and marketing. The ecosystem will include application partners offering pre-packaged applications, integration partners with custom solutions, and technology partners that will bring complementary APIs and platforms to the table.
"In this space, one person can't take our product and sell it 10 times. Each one is completely different, and each situation needs special skills," Summerson said. The program is about partners working with each other as much as working with us."
Nexmo Connect partner listings are public to businesses and solution providers, and already include companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, MuleSoft and Built.io, Vonage said. Partners can contact providers directly through the Nexmo Connect site.
The program will include the Stars Rewards Program, which will help providers and partners co-sell and co-market together. The Stars Rewards are the “currency" of the Nexmo Connect program, Summerson said, instead of rewarding partners by way of program tiers or levels.
For partners, the opportunity in the programmable communications arena is growing quickly, but solution providers can tap the expertise of other providers to build the right solutions for their end customers, Summerson said.
"This is a new place in the market where partners can find like-minded providers to collaborate with, and they have an underlying supplier -- Nexmo – which is fielding that collaboration and enabling them to build things together," he said.
Holmdel, N.J.-based Vonage told CRN in August that it would be betting big on the channel to drive CPaaS and other cloud communications sales. In March, the company launched its first channel program: the Vonage Partner Network.