As hybrid work and learning continue to become the norm, video communications have been an integral part of many business and educational enterprises worldwide.
Many businesses are increasingly looking to the channel to help drive product innovation and enhancement, and a current player that is looking to do this across the ANZ market is Zoom.
Zoom has had a steady sales presence across Australia and New Zealand since 2017 and has since started to pave its own unique channel strategy in the region.
Interestingly, the company's first channel partner in Australia was appointed even further back in 2013, before there was a key sales presence in the region. A New Zealand channel partner was established in 2019.
These moves have acted as a reflection of the company's commitment to the channel, eventually leading to the announcement of the first channel partner program at the end of 2021.
"Our partner program is called the The Zoom Up program and it consists of three tiers, Enroll, Sales and Performance," says Jacob Pereira, who is the company's Head of APAC Partners.
"Each tier has different competency requirements and accreditations, and we're building competencies around volume, phone and customer success to start off with."
Pereira says that the catalyst for the program is the company's drive to move beyond meetings, with new offerings and technologies deployed throughout the channel ecosystem.
"We're more than just a meetings company," he says. "We have gone on to transform the unified communications experience, so all employers can look at how they collaborate in a hybrid environment."
Many of the aspects of the Zoom Up program are also competencies around the platform, as opposed to just the product itself, giving partners a more focused experience.
When looking at distribution channels for the Zoom platform, Dicker Data acts as a key distributor in Australia due to the scale of the country, while in New Zealand, a direct partner strategy is in place.
"Zoom Up supports partners across two different routes to market," says Ashley Allen, Channel Sales Manager for ANZ.
"It allows us to work with traditional reseller partners, but we also have a very strong referral partner program."
The same product line is generally offered to partners as well, but how the technology is taken to partners can differ depending on the circumstances.
And numbers are reflecting that the Zoom Up partner program is growing significantly. The company has 700 partners in APAC, with a 30% channel contribution to the overall business.
"We're looking to see that we are aligning sales teams and sales resources with our partners to address the market opportunity," says Allen when reflecting on the rollout of the program.
"Another key element is helping partners understand the profitability they have around taking Zoom to market."
Success in the future
Besides the advancement of the partner program in APAC, Zoom is also focusing on new innovations and products to help ease the complexity of hybrid environments. One of these is Zoom One, which allows a customer to buy a single skew that offers everything from whiteboard to chat and meetings.
"(Retaining)Talent, Transformation and Trust" are the key aspects that Pereira says are currently a focus for organisations worldwide, and he says that Zoom intends to provide solutions and services targeted at achieving success in these areas.
Partner success also plays a key role in the Zoom Up program, and Allen says the global Zoomtopia conference will celebrate many of the APAC-based partner achievements.
"We will be looking at partners that are being innovative with how they take Zoom to market, and in terms of how they are looking at customer opportunities, while also looking at unique customer stories," she says.
And while hybrid communication continues to evolve, Regional Sales Manager for NZ Jaron Burbidge says it's all about the little wins and that Zoom and its channel partnerships can allow enterprises to unlock a variety of new opportunities and innovations.
"We've got this great software platform, and the partners bring capabilities together to create the best results for customers.The opportunity comes when partners here are able to innovate on behalf of their customers.
"We've got a really good, healthy ecosystem of very happy customers and partners."