Creating partner programs is one of the most efficient business strategies that vendors can use to encourage value-added resellers, managed service providers, and system integrators to recommend and/or sell their products and services to a customer base. Strong and effective partnerships also enable companies to share technologies and tools that may have been otherwise unattainable. In the communication market, it is beneficial for service providers to foster strong relationships with their partners in order to improve their performance, streamline their operations, and increase revenue opportunities.
Acknowledging the importance of partnerships as a significant driver of business growth, ShoreTel, a leading provider of unified communications and business telephony solutions, has recently launched a new partner program for their Summit Platform. The Summit Partner Program provides resources, tools, and training that enables Summit Partners to better serve their customers, increase their market demand, and develop a thriving business.
Supporting Businesses, Developers, and Summit Partners
Designed to help businesses and developers, ShoreTel aims to provide resources, including development support, certification training, and co-marketing activities, to enable partners to effectively build communication applications and speed up time-to-market. This new program also offers support and marketing guidance for organizations that are building applications using the Summit Platform, a Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) solution for building custom voice and Short Message Service (SMS) apps.
With this new program from ShoreTel, partners can also benefit from profiles in ShoreTel’s online TechConnect Marketplace. Through this, they can increase their visibility to ShoreTel’s existing customer base and reseller partners and drive demand for their technology and communications solutions and services.
“The Summit Partner Program is a natural extension of TechConnect,” said Mark Roberts, the Chief Marketing Officer at ShoreTel. “The goal of TechConnect is to make it easy for businesses to integrate their solutions with ShoreTel products while giving customers the flexibility to address their unique use cases. Summit achieves and expands upon that objective. The Summit Partner Program also allows ShoreTel to engage with new kinds of development partners and introduce our existing channel partner community to new revenue opportunities.”
3 Types of Summit Partners
Solution Partners – These partners have an in-depth technical expertise to use the Summit Platform in developing custom SMS and voice applications and combining communications capabilities into customers' existing environments. ShoreTel’s long-time channel partners such as Converged Technology Professionals, Palitto Consulting Services, and LANtelligence have expanded their business to become Summit Solution Partners.
Joe Rittenhouse, the President of Business Development at Converged Technology Professionals, expressed his enthusiasm on becoming a Summit Solution Partner. “Becoming a Summit Solution Partner has empowered us to quickly transform the way we approach our clients,” said Rittenhouse. “We can now take client data and use Summit Web services, APIs, SMS and more to deliver real-time interactions like self-help automation, credit card transaction processing or surveys, while also providing clients with the business intelligence needed to measure effectiveness. It allows us to meet our clients’ goals in ways that work for them, without requiring a large capital investment.”
Application Partners – This group is comprised of Software-as-a-Solution (SaaS) providers and Independent Software Vendors (ISV) that provide ready-to-go apps developed on Summit or use Summit’s Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) architecture to improve communications capabilities in their flagship applications. Callidus Health, a healthcare software provider, uses Summit to enhance their communications suite and healthcare answering service. In a release, Ganesh Elangovan, M.D. and co-founder of Callidus Health, had this to say about Summit:
“ShoreTel’s development options were critical for our launch. Having the voice and SMS work and underlying infrastructure handled for us enabled us to focus on the areas where we excel. And going forward, we have the platform flexibility needed to help the business grow and ensure HIPAA compliance with all patient interactions.”
Modular Partners – These partners offer additional programming components and libraries that developers can utilize as building blocks to enhance the features of the Summit apps. Module Partners include companies such as VoiceBase and Next Caller.
“Next Caller’s goal is to improve sales and support processes with more reliable caller data,” said Jeff Kirchick, the Vice President of Enterprise Sales at Next Caller. “As a Summit Module Partner, we can make this possible for both developers and their end users. The Next Caller library for Summit helps developers enrich their voice apps with real-time caller data so that sales teams or contact center agents can engage with prospects and customers in a more meaningful way.”
What Makes Summit Platform Different
Summit partners are given access to the Summit technology that enables them to develop, distribute, sell, and support their applications. Here are the key program features and benefits of the Summit Partner Program:
- Technology. Because the program is built on a carrier-class network, Summit provides a highly scalable communication solution for ShoreTel’s partners. The company is also responsible for infrastructure maintenance, so their partners can reduce service and operational costs. Plus, the program also enables partners to seamlessly develop apps at a lesser cost and reduce SMS and voice traffic rates.
- Marketing Support. Summit enables partners to build brand awareness and promote their solutions and capabilities. The program also helps create demand and increase pipeline by letting partners participate in co-marketing and events. Also, by leveraging ShoreTel’s strength, they can enhance their business communications.
- Go-to-Market Resources. The Summit Partner Program hastens the sales cycle by giving their partners access to ShoreTel’s existing customer base. Their partners can also improve their skills and market approach with the help of the Summit Team.
Services and apps from Summit Partners are available in the TechConnect Marketplace. You can also visit ShoreTel’s website for further information about their Summit Platform or their Partners Page to learn more about their other partner programs.
ShoreTel, Inc. (NASDAQ: SHOR) is a trusted provider of unified communications (UC) products, IP phone systems, and cloud services that power today’s modern, globally distributed workforce. Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California with offices in different parts of the world, including Spain, India, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Australia, ShoreTel provides a flexible set of communications solutions for the cloud, contact centers, onsite, and hybrid UC environments. As an awarding-winning communication service provider, ShoreTel’s innovative business phones, application integration, contact center solutions, collaboration tools, mobility, and SIP trunking services give partners and end-user customers the freedom to communicate and collaborate no matter the place, time, or device being used.