Masergy Launches Zenith Partner Program To Attack SD-WAN Sales: Exclusive

‘The Zenith program is about re-establishing Masergy‘s commitment in the channel and getting deeper and more proactive with our partners—getting them more swings at bat,” Masergy’s new channel chief, Jim Glackin, tells CRN.

Masergy Communications has always been channel-friendly, but the hybrid networking and communications provider is going on the offensive with a brand-new global channel program.

The Zenith Partner Program, launched Tuesday, is open to master agents, telecom agents, MSPs and VARs. The new program takes a proactive approach to selling, a characteristic that many channel programs lack, said Jim Glackin, who joined as Masergy‘s senior vice president of global channel earlier this month following a 16-year career at CenturyLink and Qwest.

Masergy, a channel-first company that does about 80 percent of its business through partners, is kicking off its third decade in business by increasing partner earnings and enhancing joint marketing strategies and resources to help solution providers capture more business.

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“We‘re investing in the channel, starting with my role, and with the new partner program,” Glackin told CRN. ”The Zenith program is about re-establishing Masergy’s commitment in the channel and getting deeper and more proactive with our partners—getting them more swings at bat.”

[Related: CenturyLink's Jim Glackin Jumps to Masergy As Channel Chief: Exclusive]

While Masergy‘s channel has always been dominated by master agents, the company wants to reach out directly to the sub-agent community—otherwise known as telecom agent partners—as well as MSPs and VARs, Glackin said.

“We‘re taking it down to the next level and investing in the sellers—the ones actually out in the field in front of the customers. This is a big thing for us,” he said.

“I‘m most excited about the fact that Masergy is doubling down on referral partners with the appointment of [Glackin], who has a pedigree and experience in telecom and will bring development and a maturity to the channel program. It demonstrates an intention to continue to work very strongly with channel partners,” said Ray Bricknell, managing director of Behind Every Cloud (BEC), a U.K.-based IT consultancy firm and longtime Masergy partner.

BEC serves midsize customers, many of which are in the financial services space, and works with an array of cloud service vendors in the networking, UCaaS and infrastructure space. The incentives that Masergy is rolling out along with the launch of the Zenith program will be beneficial to BEC, Bricknell said.

The new partner marketing resources include access to templated and customized campaigns and marketing development funds for partners to drive customer demand, as well as increased training for partners on all of Masergy‘s products and services, according to the Plano, Texas-based company.

Glackin believes that most channel programs tend to be reactive—vendors waiting for the phone to ring when the partner has an opportunity, he said. “I think channel programs need to be proactive in understanding what partners are trying to do and the type of customers they are looking to target, and then helping them get in front of those customers by building their brand awareness through campaigns,” Glackin said.

Specifically, Masergy wants to help partners tap into and grow their SD-WAN and UCaaS sales. Masergy, in addition to launching the Zenith Partner Program, is unveiling a broader SD-WAN portfolio that includes a co-managed offering along with the existing managed SD-WAN offering.

SD-WAN is the fastest-growing technology that Masergy has had in its 20-year history, said Chris MacFarland, who stepped back into the role as chairman and CEO of Masergy in May. MacFarland led Masergy for 10 years as CEO before serving as CTO from the end of 2018 until May 2020.

“The opportunity around [SD-WAN] is accelerating. Before, it was a bit of a 10- to 15-year journey. Now, it‘s a much shorter time frame and close to 100 percent of businesses have to be evaluating this technology,” MacFarland told CRN. ”Our newly expanded portfolio widens the aperture so partners can win across most of the opportunities that they see—every business right now is rethinking everything and we want to give certainty to businesses as they move to the cloud.”

Masergy partners today can expect up to three times the monthly recurring revenue commissions for qualified SD-WAN and UCaaS sales through Dec. 31, the company said.