Rogers for Business (Rogers) has re-launched its Channel Partner Program, which is designed for partners that serve the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market. It’s the result of a major effort to overhaul Rogers previous value-added reseller program to better suit the SMB sector.
“We’ve spent the last year listening and understanding what the channel needs,” said Dean Mayke, Director of Channel Partners; “This re-launch supports these findings with a clear focus on solving the challenges of Canadian SMB’s”
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Rogers is focused on investing in the channel. “Channel partners are vital to reaching and servicing small-medium business customers,” said Mayke. The program is already proving to be a success. During the program’s trial period in 2020, the company’s SMB revenue grew by 35 per cent with Rogers targeting 50 to 100 per cent growth in the sector for 2021 according to Mayke.
That’s one of the reasons why Rogers believes there’s significant opportunity for channel partners. He expects those opportunities to expand even further with Rogers acquisition of Shaw Communications.
The Rogers for Business Channel Partner Program
The program makes the Rogers business portfolio of services available to small and medium-sized enterprises through channel partners. The suite of offerings includes: data centres, wireline infrastructure, wireless phones and services, and IoT (Internet of Things) services. “We want to make these services available to smaller businesses who may otherwise find it difficult to invest the capital to do it on their own,” said Mayke.
The plan for channel partners is to provide these services with straightforward pricing via a seamless à la carte platform that is being developed to make the selling process easier for partners, Mayke explained. It can be used to automatically generate co-branded proposals for prospective customers, while also leveraging the Rogers brand to start the conversation with new prospects.
Partners can also use the platform to conduct credit checks and use the built-in DocuSign functionality to sign contracts. As well, the portal tracks activity, such as the number of proposals made, deals closed and compensation owed and paid with marketing literature and sell sheets included. “The idea is to help our partners track business and to build and manage their sales funnel with Rogers,” said Mayke.
One concern that is often raised about channel partner programs is a lack of clarity regarding the rules of engagement and competition from the service provider. In this case, the rules are clearly spelled out for partners, Mayke said. “If you own a category of business, such as wireless, with a customer, Rogers won’t compete with you.”
As for the compensation, Mayke said, “partners will be rewarded handsomely by selling with Rogers than with any competitors.”
A quick revenue opportunity for partners
There is a good opportunity for partners to jump on board and quickly start earning revenue under the program, Mayke pointed out. On June 12, 2021, Transport Canada regulations will come into effect requiring all commercial vehicles to use electronic logging devices (ELDs) to automatically record driving time. The ELD mandate is aimed at improving road safety and reducing driver fatigue.
Rogers offers an IoT fleet management solution called Fleet Complete that helps commercial drivers comply with the new rules. Solutions include ELD, but also standard tracking, advanced fleet management, dashcams and services for field workers. This will help control costs, increase driver safety and simplify compliance for businesses.
The impending deadline presents a solid opportunity for channel partners who are looking for a revenue boost, said Mayke.
Extensive support and training
When partners sign up for the program they will be introduced to a Partner Business Manager (PBM) on day one. The PBM will begin the onboarding process and will act as a single point of contact throughout the partnership. Partners will also have access to dedicated product specialists who can help sell services. This includes participation in calls and meetings, as needed.
As part of the onboarding process, new partners will receive eight hours of training offered in four sessions and covering each product set.
Mayke sees this level of support as a key differentiator for the program. “We’re making it easier to do business,” he said. “Where companies go wrong with channel programs is they get the channel to do the work the company doesn’t want to do. We want to invest in their long-term success and help their business path to grow.”