Video Success & Empowering the Channel with Zoom
We discuss some recent announcements with Zoom
Zoom is currently one of the most popular and innovative conferencing and collaboration tools on the market. Designed to bring people together through immersive interactions and video technology, Zoom is the leader in enterprise video conferencing, offering a platform that combines reliability with simplicity and performance in the communication world.
Recently, Zoom announced that they were developing a new channel charter for their go-to-market strategy, featuring a selection of new initiatives intended to support partners who want to bring Zoom solutions to their clients. The channel charter is just one of the ways that Zoom will be expanding its global impact in the year to come, building upon the 39 billion annualised meeting minutes the brand has already achieved.
I caught up with Laura Padilla, Head of Business Development and Channel at Zoom Video Communications, to discuss the phenomenal success of the business, and where it’s heading next.
Tell Us About the Zoom Channel Proposition
Zoom has seen phenomenal growth recently, with 100% revenue growth between Spring 2017 and Spring 2018. On top of that, the company has achieved a 135% user growth in the same period.
With over 1,200 employees worldwide, and a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 71, everything about the Zoom brand seems to be built to impress, and now, there’s an even easier way for channel partners to become part of the experience. Laura told me: “Zoom is mostly a direct-to-market company, but we know that partners are a critical part of how we can make the move to the next level in competition. It’s how we reach new use cases, markets, and customer sizes.”
Zoom’s overall partner program and ecosystem are designed to support and empower partners, with API and SDK solutions alongside the channel charter to help individuals choose how they embrace the Zoom experience.
“We know that our biggest competitors are Cisco and Microsoft, and they’re very channel friendly. They have a strong partner program, and we know that we need to have that too if we’re going to compete.”
How Are You Making Your Channel Offering Competitive?
In an incredibly competitive marketplace with major players like Cisco and Microsoft to contend with, I was interested to find out how Zoom makes their channel experience stand out. Laura told me that she’s always believed that product is the most important part of attracting the right partners. “I came to Zoom because we have the best product. We’re solving that problem of how companies can communicate visually with someone in a way that just works.”
Currently, 51% of the Fortune 1000, and 58% of the Fortune 500 use Zoom. At the same time, around 96% of the top 200 US universities use Zoom to maintain video communications. It’s safe to say that Zoom has a very competitive solution to offer. With their new approach to channel partners, Zoom hopes to enable their partner ecosystem to tap into he true potential of the product. The new channel charter, which will begin rolling out through August, features:
- Joint marketing programs
- Expanded partner portals with deal marketing, registration and training resources
- New reseller price lists and product bundles to enhance sales
- Reseller training programs with certifications
- Partner summits, roadmap updates, and networking
- Enhanced referral programs
How Do Partners Add Value to Such a World-Class Product?
Zoom offers a truly innovative solution for those interested in embracing the power of video. It’s easy to wonder how a partner or channel team could add value to customers. Padilla told me that while some of their smaller companies might not need a partner to add value, mid-size and enterprise companies have much more robust requirements to worry about.
“They might have hundreds of conference rooms that they need to put Zoom into, or they might need everything to integrate with Office 365 and Slack. They’re looking for help, and our amazing network of partners can offer that support, all the way from consultation to design. As company requirements grow, they need that hands-on touch.”
Laura noted that the channel partners with Zoom also give the company more reach and scale from a business development perspective. Instead of hiring teams around the world, Zoom can tap into resellers that already have a relationship with their target market. “The first thing is that they help us from a scale perspective. Secondly, they give us reach to approach new markets, and thirdly, they offer additional value around consultation and implementation.”
How Are You Expanding your Channel Go-To-Market Strategy?
Zoom was built to embrace video from a fresh perspective. The founder of the company also built Webex – a solution that was designed at the time for voice and PowerPoint. Now that video has grown increasingly important; Zoom is the solution intended to support better results with video, voice, and data in mind.
With the channel partner expansion, Zoom is opening the door to new opportunities around the world. “There are differences in what we offer according to region because different countries require unique things. However, there are still foundational similarities throughout. We’re also opening up opportunities for distribution companies too.”
“We have Ingram in the EMEA and US markets, and we’re looking outside of those spaces for people we can partner with elsewhere.”
What’s Coming Up Next for Zoom?
Over the past year, Zoom Rooms alone have seen a sales growth by over 250% – highlighting the market’s need for a reliable audio and video conferencing solution with added functionalities and capabilities. In the months to come, Zoom will be delivering even more insight and innovation to the marketplace, starting with their Zoomtopia celebration in October.
The Zoomtopia customer event will include some amazing announcements according to Padilla, about how the company is enhancing their product suite.
“It’s going to be the first time we have a partner summit as part of Zoomtopia, so people can come and get training and learn how to sell better independently.”