Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Interactive Intelligence Enhances Global Partner Program

December 08, 2015

There is little doubt that channels are important.  The old saying that is one of the first things taught in MBA marketing courses to “think global, but act local,” remains extremely relevant as those with customer intimacy, e.g., the channel, are a vital part of the mix of hopefully not just meeting but exceeding customer expectation customers.  It is for precisely this reason that the news from customer engagement and unified communications (UC) solutions provider Interactive Intelligence is of note.  The company has launched significant enhancements to its Global Partner Program.

Delighting the channel and customers

As Interactive Intelligence explains, the enhanced Global Partner Program includes the following changes:

  • New Systems Integrator Program -- a formalized program designed to tap a range of specialized SI consultative and industry-specific skills, especially for very large deployments. Interactive Intelligence has signed Accenture as its first SI under the new program.
  • New Telco/Carrier Program - gives telcos/carriers an option to bundle the company's PureCloud services with their voice services. Telcos/carriers can also offer deployment services and premium support, and are given the resources to build customizations and integrations for customers.
  • Channel Program Updates - offers value-added resellers simplified partner levels and contracts across all sales models -- from referral and co-sell resale, to full-service. Of note is the addition of a PureCloud track, which offers improved margins, the opportunity to offer deployment services and premium support, and resources to build customizations and integrations for customers.

In addition to the SI, Telco/Carrier, and Channel Programs, Interactive Intelligence offers an Alliance Program designed for any partner offering solutions that are complementary to the Interactive Intelligence software and cloud services. Partners can list their solutions for purchase on the Interactive Intelligence MarketPlace, a virtual storefront for customers, partners and third-party developers that provides global exposure for increased revenue opportunities.

Interactive Intelligence also offers a Consultant Program for independent consultants that may recommend Interactive Intelligence as part of a client engagement.

Today, the Interactive Intelligence Partner Ecosystem comprises approximately 400 companies worldwide, including Arrow Systems Integration, Arvato (a division ofBertelsmann), Atea, brightONE, Cognizant, Hitachi, IBM, Iwatsu, KPN B.V., Maintel, NACR, Software House International, and Xerox Business Services.

"As we've expanded our product offering and global footprint, we realized that we needed to both streamline partner engagement and diversify our partner ecosystem," said Darren Gill, Interactive Intelligence vice president of channels. "The changes we've made are designed to better support our existing contact center-focused partners, while more quickly bringing to market our new cloud offering and building out our services business to reach new customers."

"The enhancements Interactive Intelligence has made to its partner program are critical for the company to grow to the next level," said Keith Dawson, Ovum's principal analyst for customer engagement. "Its new SI Program in particular will help Interactive strengthen its geographic reach, while opening up new opportunities for larger deals and across vertical and niche markets. Enhancements across the board will also help the company further penetrate the burgeoning cloud contact center market."

There has been a lot of conjecture over the past few years that as cloud adoption continues to gain momentum, channels would possibly become problematic.  However, realities in the market are that properly structured partner programs, particularly for companies with a global reach, do provide benefits for all members of an ecosystem. In short, getting it right with the channels remains core to companies seeking to create sustainable competitive advantage. 

Edited by Kyle Piscioniere