Zoom Up Partner Program ‘2.0’ Includes Incentives, Support Programs As Company Boosts Channel’s Role

“If you think about the empowerment piece and ease of doing business, this is going to be a never-ending finish line for us … In my mind, we’re never not going to strive to be the easiest company to do business with. That’s a goal for us,” Zoom Channel Chief Todd Surdey told CRN ahead of Zoomtopia 2023.


Todd Surdey

Zoom Video Communications is “empowering” its partners with a revamped partner program, support, marketing, and customer success programs, the tech giant revealed on Tuesday at Zoomtopia 2023.

The Zoom Up Partner Program, unveiled in 2022, was aimed at unifying all its partners: resellers, distributors, master agents, and sub-agents alike. Zoom Up “2.0” will pave the way for greater rewards, profitability, and access to resources for partners, Todd Surdey, Zoom’s channel chief, told CRN.

“Last year … we knew that we needed to do a lot more on the go-to-market, our products, marketing, and our services, all those things. We now have an incredible base. As we go into this year, [it’s about] how do we tie that empowerment, and really the simplification and the ability for our partners to own their journey,” he said.

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[Related: New Zoom Channel Chief On Hybrid Work, Profitability, And Building a ‘Partner-Centric Culture’]

The revamped Zoom Up partner program will now include three new levels: Silver, Gold and Platinum. Partners can move up to the Gold level by achieving a product competency. Partners can reach the highest level — Platinum — by proving knowledge and skills across the Zoom portfolio by earning multiple product competencies. Zoom said that existing partners will automatically transition to their corresponding level at the launch of the new program on Tuesday and will have the opportunity to move up the levels immediately.

“These levels will allow partners to demonstrate knowledge with accreditations and multiple competencies on our products,” Surdey said.

Along with the new levels, Zoom also plans on rewarding its partners for making investments with the video provider. The revamped Zoom Up program will offer increased profitability, access to resources, and investment from Zoom. Partner rewards are tiered in accordance with the partner’s Zoom Up level, Surdey said.

Zoom is doing about 30 percent of its business through the channel globally, a figure that’s been rising steadily since the creation of the partner program four years ago, the company told CRN.

“If you think about the empowerment piece and ease of doing business, this is going to be a never-ending finish line for us,” Surdey said. “We have really done a lot around the operational elements [and] deal registration and accelerating that. So, we’re going to continue on that journey, and we cannot stop. In my mind, we’re never not going to strive to be the easiest company to do business with. That’s a goal for us.”

The new Zoom Up program will go in effect in early 2024, Surdey said.

Additional Programming For Zoom Partners

Alongside the updated partner program, Zoom is launching a series of new programs and resources to help partners develop their Zoom practices.

The Partner Customer Success Program will help arm partners with the expertise they need to take on full ownership of the post-sale customer relationship, boost adoption and renewal of Zoom’s services.

The new Partner Support Program will help partners provide their customers with technical support by introducing four support levels based on their level of investment within Zoom to put partners in control of the customer support relationship. The benefits include faster time to resolution and improved customer experience, Surdey said.

The Partner Licensing Program, formerly known as PUDL and now NFR, will give entitled partners more comprehensive collections of internal-use licenses so partners can use Zoom’s offerings and demonstrate them to customers. The new NFR program, which is connected to the Zoom Up program, will grant partners access to incremental NFR packages based on their Zoom Up level. It will also provide near instantaneous awarding and provisioning of licenses, so partners do not have to wait, the company said.

“The NFR program is really about how do we put more of our products in the hands of our partners where they could actually utilize them in a much more aggressive way,” Surdey added.

In addition to the programs, Zoom’s Partner Demand Center now lets partners create AI-generated Zoom content for marketing campaigns in more than 150 languages.

For referral partners, Zoom in April brought on Workvivo, an employee experience platform. Beginning this month, Zoom referral partners are now able to refer leads and receive commissions for the sale of Workvivo, the company said.