Masergy Protects Strategic Advisors Through ‘Full channel Integration’

‘We want our partners to be those strategic advisors and then kind of move on so they are able to offer our solutions to more and more customers out there,’ Masergy’s VP of global operations tells CRN.

Many IT companies are tapping into the channel, at least in part, to extend their sales force. But partners can find themselves at odds with the direct sales side of the house, which sometimes competes with the indirect channel.

Masergy Communications, a company that does about 80 percent of its business today through partners, is protecting the role of its partners by solving customer problems alongside -- not in competition with -- its channel partners. It has also shortened the sales cycle so that partners can close more deals, more efficiently, according to the company.

“[Masergy’s] capacity to bring the resources together to help propose, price out, contract or implemented solutions and then provide support down the road is a very unique proposition that they have that is somewhat lost on many of the other providers,” Bill Hooper, RealCom Solutions’ COO, told CRN.

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RealCom Solutions has been a longtime Masergy partner because of the company’s “full channel integration,” Hooper said.

“That’s what’s unique about their direct sales teams -- they’re very collaborative with partners. You know when you engage with them on an account, you’ve got somebody that can be trusted,” Hooper said.

[Related: Comcast Business To Acquire Masergy In SD-WAN Blockbuster]

Plano, Texas-based Masergy has always been a channel-first company, said Craig D’Abreo, Masergy’s vice president of global operations. “We understand the challenges and the needs [of partners] and we understand what the customers are looking for. And we also understand the role of the partners and channel right,” he said.

That role, he said, is strategic advisor, and not “box pusher.” Partners are designing solutions to help their customers digitally transform and ready the businesses for the future. “We’re going shoulder to shoulder with the partners to really understand what the customers are looking for and then bring in those innovative solutions … [such as] SDN, UC, and cybersecurity.”

Implementation is the next step after solution design. Masergy can take over the implementation -- or the “nitty gritty configuration” piece for partners, which can free up the solution provider to focus staying consultative in the eyes of their customers, D‘Abreo said. “That’s the second way Masergy really comes in -- we handle the entire implementation process from a white glove perspective, so that the partners can once again go and be more strategic in nature.”

The third way that the company is protecting partners is through its ongoing support for end customers, D’Abreo said. As solutions are rolled into production, Masergy can “take over’ the maintenance of the customer account, 24/7, he said.

“We want our partners to be those strategic advisors and then kind of move on so they are able to offer our solutions to more and more customers out there,” he said. “We want to help them go advise new customers and offer solutions that can increase their revenue as well.”

Partners can be as involved with design, implementation and maintenance as they‘d like, or, they can focus on their customer relationships and adding new services as their customers’ needs evolve, such as tying in security with UC, D’Abreo said. “We do see a lot of that being brought together,” he added.

As a busy solution provider serving enterprises, Frisco, Texas-based Realcom Solutions wants an easy way to do business with its suppliers. Masergy keeps the firm from getting “too bogged down” in the minutiae of task such as installations, Hooper said. It also gives RealCom and its customers everything they need from one vendor, which can benefit the customer financially, too.

“What’s a bit unique about Masergy’s offerings is I can sell a customer the network, I can layer on the UCaaS offering for the voice, and then I can layer on the security, so that I have a one stop shop to go to,” he said. “I’ve got it all bundled into one offering for a customer, which makes it really easy for partners and customers have one contract that helps them reach a higher commitment level.”