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UCaaS Specialist Nextiva Investing ‘Millions’ In Partners, Launches First-Ever Channel Program: Exclusive

In addition to revealing a formal partner program, Nextiva, a provider of UCaaS targeting SMBs, is staffing up its channel team and adding new resources to give partners the goods they’ll need to successfully grow their business and move upmarket.

Nextiva, a provider of cloud-based unified communications for the SMB space, is kicking off its biggest channel investment yet with the launch of a formal channel partner program that will help solution providers grow their business and expand their reach into the enterprise.

The new partner program, called NeXus, along with Nextiva‘s new hires, investments and enterprise focus, will help the company zero in on new opportunities through the channel, Eric Martorano, Nextiva’s chief revenue officer who is spearheading the company’s channel efforts, told CRN.

Nextiva does about 50 percent of its business through its more than 4,500 channel partners today. Martorano is aiming to aggressively grow the company‘s channel business through a structured program, he said.

“We‘re putting millions of dollars into the channel right now to support their businesses and growth,” Martorano said.

[Related: Coronavirus Making A Strong Case For UC&C Solutions, Says Partners]

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Nextiva offers voice, videoconferencing and messaging in an easy-to-use package that is “extremely competitive” to rival products, including RingCentral and 8x8, Martorano said. Customer care and its robust partner community are attributes the company prides itself on, he added.

“When I think about the channel and the resources we now have for partners, I do think we have investments out there that other [vendors] aren‘t doing today,” he said.

The NeXus program will include three tiers: an Authorized partner, Gold partner and Platinum premier partner levels. Gold partners will be required to bring in $1,000 in annual monthly recurring revenue, have two Nextiva-certified employees, and two quarterly business reviews per year with Nextiva‘s regional channel managers. Gold partners will also have access to Nextiva’s campaigns-in-a- box and the company’s enterprise solutions architects for large deals, Martorano said. Platinum premier partners will need to pull in $10,000 or more in annual recurring revenue, four employees who have completed the company’s sales certification process, and have quarterly business reviews with Nextiva.

A channel veteran of more than 20 years, Martorano joined Nextiva in July after serving as CEO of software asset management company Accordo Group for two years. He sold Accordo Group in June to MarketStar. Prior to that, Martorano was chief revenue officer for cloud UC provider Intermedia for two years and earlier was the general manager of U.S. partner sales for Microsoft for more than eight years.

The longtime channel executive is also bringing in his former colleague Eric Roach as vice president of channel development for the company. Roach was a former Microsoft sales executive, then an Intermedia channel executive and later senior vice president of sales and marketing for Accordo Group.

Nextiva is adding plenty of head count to support its newly established channel efforts. Hank Humphries, formerly global channel chief at Dropbox and channel leader at Google, has joined the company as Nextiva’s vice president of revenue strategy and operations. Cathryn Valladares, Nextiva‘s former director of solution engineering for four years, has moved into the new role of vice president of enterprise solutions. Roach, Humphries and Valladares are reporting to Martorano.

The company‘s roots lie in the SMB space, but Nextiva is breaking new ground into the enterprise space as the company’s traction with larger customers grows with the help of channel partners. “We’ve gotten a lot of requests from our partners to continue to help them be successful upmarket,” he said. Under the leadership of Valladares, this new business segment will be bringing on enterprise solution architects to work hand-in-hand with partners to position Nextiva’s product portfolio as an enterprise option, Martorano said.

Nextiva is in the midst of also bringing on partner account managers, engineers and field marketing managers to round out its channel team, the company said.

Partners can also expect new resources on the Nextiva CoNEXtion digital marketing platform, including deal registration, enhanced MDF, spiffs, and gamified trainings and certifications, Martorano said.

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