Polycom

Channel development and partner recruitment.

When Microsoft and Polycom deepened their strategic relationship to deliver a broad set of voice and video solutions for unified communications it was an exciting, high profile move for both vendors.

With this expanded global agreement came a new strategy for channel development and partner recruitment.

More.

With this expanded global agreement came a new strategy for channel development and partner recruitment.

Both vendors sell indirectly through a partner network.  Their ultimate goal was to bring together a channel of 'all-up Unified Communication partners' certified in both Polycom and Microsoft Unified Communications and able to offer customers an end-to-end UC solution.

"We were looking for help in a number of areas. One was to define the opportunity and articulate it to potential partners. Another was to create the process for taking a Polycom partner through into the Microsoft Partner Network to become a Microsoft UC partner. We also wanted help to build an event and drive attendance."

Charlie James, Microsoft Alliance Manager

Partnership.

Lasting relationships with ResourceiT

Achieving Gold with Microsoft

Polycom recognised that if it was to advocate Microsoft certification its first step was to become a Microsoft Gold UC partner itself.  "As a partner-centric business, it's important for us to demonstrate our commitment," says Lisa Marie Craig, Global Director Strategic Alliances Marketing Polycom Inc.

The whole of Polycom's global employee base has supported this focus on growing our Microsoft Polycom solution; from our sales team driving customer references to our engineers building a depth of Microsoft expertise and qualifications.  The challenge for us was in pulling this information together from across our global and extended Polycom team to achieve the accreditation in a short amount of time."

Mapping the Journey

We helped Polycom to build a journey plan for Microsoft Unified Communications partners to become Polycom partners and for Polycom partners to achieve the Microsoft UC competency and partner certification.  We identified the core market of Microsoft partners and invited them to join Polycom partners for an executive briefing session which included presentations from the Microsoft UC team.

 

"We wanted to highlight the opportunities and encourage both sets of partners to think about their business in a slightly different way. Polycom partners were able to look at ways of moving into the true Unified Communication Solution space with an understanding of what the challenges are from an implementation perspective"

Sue MacDermott, Technical Sales Manager, Microsoft UK

Helping Polycom go gold - in just 6 weeks

While Polycom had an amazing depth of solutions, experience, references and Microsoft certified professionals to demonstrate its Gold partner competency, its challenge was to track this information down from across global operations and manage and collate it through the Microsoft Solutions Portal.

Achieving the highest accolade

Polycom has created some fantastic innovation with Microsoft and with its Gold Partner certification in place was perfectly positioned to enter Microsoft's Partner awards. These awards are extremely competitive with winners selected from more than 3,000 entries worldwide.

We guided Polycom through the entry process to ensure that it had the best-packaged nomination possible. And the result for Polycom could not have been better - winning the 2011 Microsoft Unified Communications Innovation Partner of the Year Award.

 

Winning with Microsoft and Polycom

partner channel has had rapid payback on their investment.

Achieving Microsoft Gold certification and winning the Microsoft UC Innovation Partner of the Year Award is massively important to Polycom,  but perhaps the biggest endorsement of the partner strategy is the success being enjoyed within the joint partner channel.

ProVC is one of the Polycom partners that attended the EBC. "As a direct result of the event, we formed an alliance with a Microsoft UC partner. We have won some sizeable Lync and OCS integration projects, including with a major bank. We are also working directly with Polycom on another Lync and OCS integration opportunity. These are really substantial pieces of work," says Rogers.

"What ResourceiT has given us goes well beyond the scope of the initial project brief. They have provided valuable guidance on how we can leverage the Microsoft knowledge base within our business and given us a road map for continued growth of our employees.  We can really impact from this".

Lisa Marie Craig, Director Strategic Alliances Marketing