Unified communications solutions company Mitel Networks Corp. is rolling out a comprehensive revamp of its partner program in Canada in the United States which, according to the company, will provide its partners with more equitable metrics for receiving discounts and rewards.
The Ottawa-based firm previously based the rewards and discounts it provided partners on their revenues. Some partners, however, felt that this model did not adequately take into account the effort and expenses on training and certification on Mitel products that some business took or the market realities in certain areas.
The updated program, which is set to take effect in July 1, 2014, will not only address these issues but also include new tracks to support cloud providers and be better aligned to Mitel’s continued focus on value added resellers (VARs) as well as cloud communications, according to Sandy Janes, director of channel strategy and programs with Mitel. She also said Mitel is introducing new certification opportunities for contact centre and cloud communications.
“This new program recognizes the training and time and effort spent by our partners to gain expertise in our products and platforms,” she told CDN. “Instead of rewarding our partners in Canada and the U.S. based on their revenues, we will be taking into account things such as training and certification in the installation and maintenance of Mitel products, sales engagement accreditation, demo capabilities and business planning.”
Essentially, as a partner goes up in their level of expertise, the level or rewards and discounts goes up as well.
Partner accreditation and levels have are also now uniform for the whole of North America.
Previously, partner levels in Canada were: Authorized; Select; and Premium. As of July 1, they will be aligned with the new streamlined partner levels in the U.S. which include: Authorized; Silver; Gold; and Platinum. Mitel removed its Diamond category in the U.S.
“Recent mergers and acquisitions have expanded our network of partners that sell and support our solutions,” said Sandra Hill, Mitel’s vice-president of channel management and distribution for the Americas. “Working directly with our top partners in North America, we’ve realigned our program to fully empower them to grow their business with Mitel and, most importantly, offer consistency of support for customers.”
“This is a more equal and less confusing structure which we will later implement globally,” said Janes.
Mitel is also moving away from using customer satisfaction surveys as part of if metrics for measuring partner performance. Some partners have complained that these surveys can be biased, especially if a customer has a beef with the partner, she said.
Janes said the new metric will now focus on quarterly operational performance reports that track the maintenance and support tickets raised by partners. This report is collected by Mitel’s support team and provides Mitel an understanding of what customer issues a partner is dealing with, the measure they take in resolving the issue and their success in providing the customer a solution.
Partners are given a scored on their performance and obtain a Mitel badge of operational excellence when they obtain a score of 90 or above. This recognition can be used by partners as an additional marketing tool.