With the spike in demand for collaboration platforms in the past year due to the pandemic, Zoom Video Communications has seen significant expansion in the channel ecosystem across the globe. It added more than 3,500 channel partners to its programs over 2021. As of September 2021, Zoom channel is now contributing more than 20% to its non-online bookings globally, and nearly 30% internationally. In India, Tata Teleservices and Savex Technologies are its value added distributors. In an interview with CRN India Vishal Amin, Channel Head – India & SAARC, Zoom Video Communications talks about role of partners in helping Zoom to further the offerings available on the Zoom platform.
Can you tell us about the success of the newly redesigned Zoom Up Partner Program?
Our diverse Channel partners are core to our foundation at Zoom with more than 9,000 partners in over 150 countries and territories. It enables us to address our customers’ needs and amplify our reach around the world. In March 2022, we announced our newly redesigned Zoom Up Partner Program, a holistic framework that makes it easy for Channel partners to outline their path to success with Zoom.
To help foster continued growth, the Zoom Up Program incentivizes partners by aligning rewards with the corresponding level of investment. These rewards can be categorized into: sales and financial, enablement and engagement, and marketing benefits. These rewards run the gamut — with the sales category featuring benefits such as deal registration discounts and base discounts, while enablement offers access to partner education resources and business planning with an assigned channel account manager. The marketing category also offers opportunities like access to MDF, partner messaging and branding, and an enterprise virtual executive briefing center (EBC) experience. The program has started being rolled out to select partners and later this year it will be fully implemented across the entire Channel partner ecosystem.
How are Channel partners playing a role in the growth and expansion of Zoom services in India?
Channel Partners play a key role in Zoom’s expansion and growth in the APAC region. Zoom is committed to empowering and growing its diverse ecosystem of Channel partners across the region as an advocate of joint success. With the spike in demand for collaboration platforms in the past year due to the pandemic, our Channel ecosystem saw expansion across the globe. We welcomed more than 3,500 channel partners to our programs over 2021. Across go-to-market and geographies, we continue to rapidly expand our partner ecosystem. As of September 2021, our channel is now contributing more than 20% to our non-online bookings globally, and nearly 30% internationally. We have partnered with Tata Teleservices and Savex Technologies in India.
What are some of the key partners centric investments being made by Zoom?
We recently launched the Zoom Up Partner Program, a unified, holistic, global partner framework that makes it simple for Channel partners to transact and grow their business with Zoom. The enhanced Zoom Up Program is designed to improve partners’ overall experience working with Zoom by offering a simplified architecture, one that today’s resellers, carriers, distributors, ISVs, and referral partners need as they navigate a fast-paced, competitive landscape.
We also announced the launch of our first-ever Zoom Partner Demand Center in December 2021 as we continue to invest in the expansion of Zoom’s diverse partner network. To expand their Zoom marketing practice, the Partner Demand Center offers members of the Zoom partner community with a leading marketing automation platform. It offers a wide array of robust functionalities, including email campaigns, web content syndication, social media marketing, events marketing, including webinar syndication, video marketing, digital ads and banners, and co-branding. The Zoom Partner Demand Center strives to provide Channel partners with the resources they need to be successful, including tools designed to help users upskill their existing team. These resources include training, online marketing support and access to our partner marketing concierge service for assistance in every step of the marketing journey.
With the digital transformation, hybrid workforce and changing customer experiences, how does Zoom help its partners in the current scenarios?
In nearly 200 countries and territories today, Zoom is a global engine of innovation and connection used by millions of people. We have transcended into an integrated and robust communications platform encompassing chat, phone, meetings, events, and so much more. Zoom is the only platform that started with video as its foundation, and ever since then our frictionless communications platform has raised the bar for innovation. We continue to innovate and launch new features, updates and partnerships. We launched hundreds of platform features and enhancements earlier on in the year including Zoom Whiteboard, Workspace Reservation, Avatars, Smart Gallery, Video messaging for Zoom Chats; We also introduced Zoom IQ for sales – a conversation intelligence software for Zoom Meetings through which sales teams can gain meaningful and actionable insights from their customer interactions and Zoom Contact Centre which elevates the customer service experience through video-optimized interactions.
We are constantly looking for opportunities to engage and collaborate with local partners in the markets we are present in, to offer customers improved accessibility, engagement, and productivity to thrive in the hybrid world. While allowing our customers to build with or on the Zoom platform, we are continuing to forge partnerships and grow our partner ecosystem. We have opened up Zoom’s SDKs, which allows developers to embed Zoom services into their applications from anywhere across the region and for any industry – from healthcare to education. Our robust APIs and SDKS are utilised by our local networks of developers, partners and resellers to build applications on and with Zoom services. Today, our rapidly expanding ecosystem includes more than 2,000 apps, making it flexible and customisable to teams, verticals, workstreams, or workplace cultures.
How can partners use Zoom competencies to highlight their technical expertise to global customers?
All our Channel partner programs have their own unique impact on the business, creating new opportunities for partnerships, growth, and expansion. Our Distribution Partner Program assists in driving the adoption of Zoom platform and helps ensure customers get one of the best possible communications experiences. In key international markets, we continue to onboard new distributors. By leveraging our APIs and SDKs within their applications and products, our ISV partners play a critical role in helping Zoom to further the offerings available on the Zoom platform. Across the globe, more than 300+ leading software and SaaS providers, power their applications with Zoom APIs and SDKs. New industries and markets will continue to be developed with the Zoom platform. Developers leverage solutions and tools made available by the Zoom Developer Platform, either to build apps and integrations on top of Zoom’s industry-leading collaboration platform, or to integrate Zoom technology into their products and services.
What does it take to achieve a Zoom competency and how does it help partners?
The Zoom Up Partner Program introduces a single program architecture with enhanced resources for partners to grow their business. Designed to redefine the partner engagement journey through one integrated architecture, Zoom Up offers a clear roadmap of opportunities for new and existing partners to expand their Zoom expertise and business.
In terms of competencies, partners will be able to train in up to three core competencies that are categorized as volume, phone, and customer success. These competencies help establish and grow the expertise a partner may have in specific areas. Zoom will also roll out a new program with three levels: enrolled, sales, and performance to recognize and reward partners for their level of investment in Zoom. With a baseline of entry-level program benefits, partners will start at the “Enrolled” level, and they can then move up to the “Sales” level by achieving certain requirements. The “Performance” level, which corresponds to the highest level of benefits, can be achieved by completing one or more competencies. Existing partners will be placed into these new levels in the second half of the year, based on the requirements of the program level.
What are the key challenges that partners helped overcome for customers during the pandemic situation – APJ & India perspective?
The right Channel partners play a fundamental role in enabling effective and secure collaboration for our customers around the globe. During the pandemic, partners have helped customers in building capabilities for a fast-changing environment by enabling a move towards cloud and digital adoption. Moreover, they have allowed customers to use collaboration as a means to innovate and modernize their capabilities to gain a competitive advantage. Through proactive communication with customers, partners were able to address customers’ concerns around security. They were able to reflect their care for customers by continuously reaching out with support to navigate through unprecedented times and provided cost effective methods for meeting their needs without compromising on the quality of the experience.
The world has changed in unprecedented ways since the arrival of COVID-19, and like many other schools across the country, Katherine Delmar Burke School (“Burke’s”) needed a solution that would empower the organization to deliver a dynamic learning experience in a virtual space without breaking the bank with expensive licenses and equipment. Mike Matthews, Director of Program Innovation at Burke’s found the Neat Bar as part of the Zoom Certified Hardware Program, and after experiencing the technology, he knew the combined Neat equipment and Zoom Rooms solution could meet Burke’s needs without breaking its budget. Burke’s redesigned much of the space to enable its teachers to deliver an exceptional online learning experience with Neat + Zoom.
What are the core products offerings of Zoom Channel partners? How is Zoom adding services and solutions for its Channel partners?
Our flexible Partner Demand Center allows Channel partners to execute customized, multi-touch campaigns from the platform. Channel Partners can also download the content and assets they need to execute campaigns through their own systems. Whether they are hoping to run a robust email campaign, or are trying to generate general awareness through social media, our Channel partners can elevate your marketing efforts with the Zoom Partner Demand Center. Building upon our existing partner ecosystem, we announced the redesigned Zoom Up Partner Program this year which introduces a single program architecture with enhanced resources for Channel partners to grow their business. Designed to redefine the partner engagement journey through one integrated architecture, the Zoom Up Partner Program offers a clear roadmap of opportunities for new and existing Channel partners to expand their Zoom expertise and business.
What are the top three opportunities Channel partners should focus on? Can you highlight recent upselling or co-selling opportunities created by your partners?
Zoom is seeing an increased adoption of Zoom Rooms where organizations seek to create smaller work pods or rooms for enhanced collaboration. Our Zoom Rooms solutions bring together virtual and in-person participants so they can effectively collaborate together, where they are.
Partners should focus on these key opportunities:
- Move to Hybrid: As people return to offices, it has become important to facilitate how they interact in these newly redesigned spaces. With the rise of hybrid and remote work, offices no longer play the traditional role of being the center of work — offices are taking on new meaning as a place where people can connect, socialize, and enjoy new experiences in addition to work. Zoom Rooms for example can be many types of space – from huddle rooms to large training rooms. To reduce direct contact, a Zoom Rooms Virtual Receptionist can be placed at an entrance or service area within or around the office. Leveraging Zoom Scheduling Display, you can see a similar floor plan showing available rooms nearby, providing a seamless room reservation experience.
- Workflow integration of Zoom services: We’re putting Zoom video in the middle of customer interactions by also helping to automate the workflow of call delivery so customers can deploy this more easily. We will help automate the scheduling of these video interactions,and the waiting room experience, and make joining on video easy. Then after a call, we can help to automate certain follow-up items like surveys or follow-up tasks. Zoom can also be integrated into Human Resource Management Systems from recruitment to learning and development and performance management.