Partnering for contact centre success

Ritchie Butters, director, business development, EMEA, 8x8, explains how the company has evolved its partner programme to help channel partners succeed with contact centre solutions.

With global uncertainty and multiple international crises breaking out, these are far from easy times to be in business. In times like these, very few can succeed by standing alone and that’s why the partnership model can be so successful.

Even in our industry, as organisations move to the cloud and look to go from UC models to contact centre models, there’s a lot to consider. Recent technology advancements like generative AI have made it a more level playing field, so more organisations can now make use of contact centre capabilities. Despite that, it can still involve a lot of work – and a lot of trust. That’s another reason why a partnership can be successful.

8x8 prides itself on being an honest and trustworthy partner across the globe, across sectors and across organisations. It’s the right thing to do because it benefits the partners and it benefits us. It’s a win-win.

The proof of that is in things like our Elevate Partner Programme. We launched Elevate after consulting with our partners, building a programme that won awards for innovation and ease of partnership. 

Just six months after launching the programme, we saw the opportunity to make it even better. While some might say you shouldn’t tinker with success, we saw that we could do better for our partners, especially those looking for success in the contact centre space. So, we evolved Elevate.

That change started with an acknowledgement that while recurring revenue and bringing in business are important, there’s far more to being a successful partner. Every organisation can have peak periods and quiet periods in the natural ebb and flow of business.

A company having a quiet period doesn’t mean it isn’t committed to 8x8, so we wanted Elevate 2.0 to reflect that. We also wanted to ensure the next generation of agile channel partners had as much of a chance to shine as established multinationals.

The new Elevate was to be a far more holistic programme, with the emphasis on relationships and progressing with customers over the long-term instead of being purely about short-term financials. The new areas of focus included:

  • How partners were taking advantage of our levelling up skills and certifications on offer
  • Number of new customer bookings
  • Progress in customer acquisitions and expansion

The emphasis on certifications and training was especially important. Our free training and certification – in person and online – are considered amongst the best in the industry. We also offer that training in multiple ways, including a video library, self-paced learning, instructor-led, or classroom teaching. Also, a benefit from training has been data showing that partners who complete training produce 30-50% more in pipeline and deals than partners who don’t complete training.

We wanted to ensure that partners understood that they had more ways of progressing through our tiers instead of only one route to success. To further enable success we also allowed for more rapid evaluation and progress through the levels and added an element where they could rise at a local level as well as the global level.

We also ensured that our support was second to none. We also took the “as-a-service” concept to partner engagement, offering:

  1. Business-development-rep-as-a-service, developed to help partners capitalise on their existing customer base.
  2. Account-mapping-as-a-service, using data enrichment tools to identify prospects and enable partners to target new accounts.
  3. Marketing-as-a-service provides a varied concierge service of collateral and co-brandable content to drive awareness, maximise demand and grow revenue.

Consider the following: there are now more of our higher level partners globally, earning the benefits that come with it, than before we revamped Elevate. In addition, our training numbers are up on previous years. Last year saw a 40 per cent increase year-on-year in terms of the number of students undertaking some form of sales and/or technical training.

All of this works for our successful partners. And at 8x8, we’re going to keep working hard for our partners with innovative services, support, and a portfolio of solutions that partners truly want to sell.

What are you waiting for? Learn more about working with 8x8 today. Get in touch: becomeapartner@8x8.com