At its International Partner Conference, Unify, formerly Siemens Enterprise Communications, today announced that it has accelerated efforts to dramatically increase the business it conducts globally through channel partners. At the event, attended by hundreds of channel partners from across Europe and Asia, Unify executives outlined a series of improvements to its partner programs while demonstrating moves already made that evidence Unify’s commitment to a successful channel strategy.
Jon Pritchard, executive vice president of worldwide channels who joined the company earlier this year in the newly created role, outlined the company’s updated business strategy that puts channel success at the top of the priority list. “Let me be clear: we are putting the industry and our competitors on notice that we are absolutely serious about positioning Unify as the partner of choice for the communications and collaboration industry. As we transform to a software-centric company and prepare for the availability of Project Ansible later this year, we need the right partners to help fulfill our growth aspirations,” said Prichard. “Our CEO, Dean Douglas, announced earlier this year that growing revenue through indirect channels is one of our highest priorities and we are not wasting any time to make this a reality. We are 100 percent focused on recruiting and working closely with the best channel partners globally.”
Company reshapes executive team with channel experience
In a move to highlight direct evidence of the strategic priority on a renewed channel focus, the company introduced a number of executive hires, each with deep channel experience. Beginning with CEO Dean Douglas who joined in January, the company has strengthened the leadership team with executives with decades of combined channel experience at IBM and Westcon.
“This is the year that we change the industry view point of Unify and become the first choice for the channel,” said Pritchard. “We are not only strengthening our channel, we are completely reworking our strategy, business model and programs to have a channel-first sales approach. The foundation of a channel business is the product and at Unify, we have an outstanding portfolio that we will continually develop – including an expanded OpenScape Business line and OpenScape Enterprise Express. The incremental opportunity for Project Ansible is huge for the channel and we will work in partnership with our channel to ensure a rewarding sales model.”
Upgraded go forward channel program and partner recruitment drive underway
In support of its channel strategy, the company announced plans to enhance the Go Forward partner program to make it even more attractive for partners. The program will now offer differentiated partner benefits based on the established accreditation structure, better access to accreditation for new and existing partners, increased marketing support and first class access to Unify support teams to propose, sell and implement solutions.
A partner recruitment drive was also kicked off at the event with a call out for new partners from across all geographies to meet with Unify and sign on. This drive comes as Unify is moving quickly into the SaaS space and getting its channel ready for the launch of Project Ansible in autumn 2014. Project Ansible is a new solution for secure and engaging communications and collaboration that enables companies to deliver a new way to work (#NW2W).
OpenScape portfolio expands, services take on a channel focus and project ansible readies for market
Unify continues to innovate and expand its products, solutions and services portfolio to fulfill its role as trusted advisor to the thousands of small to mid-size to enterprise customers around the world. The company recently announced a focus on the SMB segment with an enhanced OpenScape business portfolio and introduced the OpenScape Business X1 appliance — an all-in-one solution that brings the benefits of a professional voice and unified communications (UC) solution to small and medium businesses (SMBs), regardless of the company size or telephony infrastructure.
Unify also has a full portfolio of services offerings, including managed services, professional services, maintenance and support and security solutions. Unify is committed to leveraging these capabilities to support our channel partners and works with partners to identify those opportunities where we can best support them with services.
Earlier this year the company announced further details of Project Ansible, a completely new and innovative software offering designed to extend beyond the promises of unified communications (UC) supporting recognised industry megatrends like bring your own device (BYOD), addressing the role of millennials in the workforce, their requirements of mobility and the rise of the Anywhere Worker. Project Ansible will empower teams to engage in rich and meaningful conversations across virtually any communications channel or device resulting in dramatically improved team productivity. Developed with a user-centric approach over two years in collaboration with frog, a world-leading design consultancy firm, Project Ansible is an immersive solution that erases the boundaries of multiple communication channels and business process applications and integrates them into an intuitive ‘single pane of glass’ user experience, providing visibility across a workgroup, an enterprise and the Web, and transcending the mobile workforce. Project Ansible delivers on user expectations by truly redefining “unified” and, at the same time, brings this experience to the growing mobile workforce without sacrificing functionality. Project Ansible will be available to customers in Fall 2014.