ShoreTel has announced that it is revamping its Champion partner program, according to Unified Communications Strategies, to keep its partners from stepping on each other’s toes.
One major change is in its discounting stream. ShoreTel’s partners will keep the four-tiered discounting scheme, with authorized, silver, gold and platinum, but the tiers will be consistent throughout the world for all of its partners, including direct market resellers, value added resellers and service providers. The old system was based on exclusivity, skills incentives and other revenue.
ShoreTel is also introducing an opportunity registration system designed to keep high-tiered partners from poaching accounts from lower-tiered partners.
“Even the smallest, authorized [partner] will have a discount advantage over platinum partners,” ShoreTel senior director of worldwide marketing programs and strategy told Channel Partners. If discounts beyond the existing discounting scheme are required to get the account, then that partner has the account exclusively.
The company is also revamping its MDF program.
“MDF today is confusing in that there are revenue thresholds to hit before you start accruing. A lot of small partners never hit that, so they never get money,” Mattan said. Instead of minimum revenue targets, smaller partners can be rewarded from a discretionary fund.
In addition, ShoreTel is launching a new accreditation program to give its vendors even more credibility.
Unified communications is a growing and competitive field. ShoreTel appears to want all of its competitors to be successful. By having them adhere to the same rules, the larger partners won’t be able to snatch accounts from smaller partners. Today’s small businesses are nothing but tomorrow’s large ones, at least in theory. By simplifying its partner program, ShoreTel is hoping to ensure that its smaller partners have an opportunity to grow and its bigger partners make unified communications even more successful and not cause the smaller partners to go to a competitor.