Teleware has announced a major restructuring of its channel programme that will move away from a single tier approach to allow its 120 partners to achieve accreditation as Distributors, Principal Resellers or Network Partners.
“Hosted telephony is relatively straightforward from a service delivery perspective, but each customer’s requirements and local conditions vary and this is why accreditation is so important,” explains Lesley Hansen, Group Marketing Director for Teleware plc. “Some projects are simple, while others are complicated by local considerations such as broadband provider, firewall or encryption configuration needs and application integration issues, she adds.
“For Hosted Telephony to grow, customers need a benchmark to help them work out the best type of Teleware partner to approach and an assurance that they have the right skills to implement the most appropriate solution in the right way,” noted Hansen.
To help the channel gain certification, Teleware has expanded its ongoing training schedule to provide additional free courses which will cover areas such as the implications of security, QoS, application integration, VoIP over LAN management and many other topics that effect both hosted and CPE based Teleware partner projects.
The new 3-tier accreditation starts with on-premise software distributors who will, primarily, be offering standard Teleware on-premises solutions, adding appropriate hardware and network capability and handling implementation, customer training and support jointly with Teleware. Teleware Distributors focus on the mid market and Enterprise customers, where a Teleware solution is providing value add-in application software to a new IP or traditional digital PBX. A Distributor will, typically, handle 90% of a customer project, with Teleware only becoming involved in installation of any equipment on-site.
A Teleware Principal Reseller will have a sufficient level of experience and training to deliver Teleware hosted solutions to a broad range of customers, including large enterprise. Principle Resellers will have an extensive understanding of network security, QoS, complementary hardware and application integration, with a greater number of fully trained sales and technical staff. Principal Resellers will be the backbone of bringing the Teleware hosted offerings to market and will operate both direct and through their own reseller network. Within the Principal Reseller category there will be opportunities for partners to achieve competency in IP, Channel and Applications. “The competencies are designed to assist the customers and wider reseller network in understanding which Teleware Principal Reseller is able to provide them with the support and skills needed for a successful implementation,” explained Hansen.
Teleware Network Partner accreditation is aimed at network service providers and ISPs who offer their own branded or modified offering, based on Teleware applications. Network Partners have the skill and staffing levels to handle the whole presale, implementation, training and support process and will work extensively with Teleware technical developers to help create new applications and value added services.
“Our new accreditation programme is not a traditional bronze, silver and gold type deal but allows our partners to train for and win business in the market space that they are best suited to, while giving customers the ability to select a partner that is appropriate for the type of project,” continued Hansen.
Teleware has had a rapid expansion of its channel over the last 12 months, with around 120 registered partners in the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Under the new scheme, each accredited partner will have an allocated Teleware Channel Manager who will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the partner relationship and ensure that business opportunities are maximised, including assistance in sales presentations and the tender process.
All partners will have access to a Deal Registration Portal, to help avoid channel conflicts, as well as extensive marketing and technical collateral to assist in the presales and implementation process. Each partner will also undergo regular reviews to ensure they have maintained the correct level of training to maintain their accreditation status, with additional training available on an ongoing basis.
The new accreditation programme is based on extensive feedback from the Teleware channel, Dominic List, Managing Director of Teleware Partner Comtact comments, “VoIP and hosted telephony is, potentially, a huge market and we broadly support any accreditation scheme that allows partners to align themselves with the segment of the market that they wish to target.”
“Training and accreditation is an important element in helping to grow the VoIP market and we welcome the latest initiative by Teleware to help differentiate its partner network,” added List.