P lanetOne is a company that cares a little bit more. The privately held firm out of Scott - sdale, Ariz., offers a channel- based approach to identifying the need for – and delivering – cloud, security and mobility, as well as connectivity software and services. PlanetOne has alliances with hundreds of providers and partners and takes a unique approach to support- ing all aspects of its engagement. Now, with the September 2021 release of its Sentient partner-enable- ment platform, the company has taken the next step in streamlining and accel- erating those efforts. “Sentient is a groundbreaking platform – a first of its kind offered exclusively for the channel,” said Ted Schuman, PlanetOne’s CEO. “It’s the biggest announcement in our 30-year history and a game changer.” The result of a two-year build led by PlanetOne’s vice president Jake Schuman, the Sentient platform deliv- ers access to proprietary IP, forming an “instantly tangible asset” for managing one’s business. On the human capital side, this involves a unique “sales pod” approach that benefits PlanetOne’s extensive partner roster and provides coverage for scaling and managing teams. The pod also allows for directly fielding queries, promoting pre-sales and engineering services, assisting end-user presenta- tions and vetting partner solutions by options, provider and price. The result is time saved through streamlined access to proper resources, on demand. Sentient also provides access to complete business intelligence (BI) data sets based on the PlanetOne ecosys- tem of sales partners, with custom- ers gaining access to their complete account history from the first day. “It’s one thing to have a powerful platform,” said Schuman; “it’s next level to have a powerful platform that’s fueled by BI, customizable analytics and real- time information. Without targeted and actionable data, the platform would still be slick, but wouldn’t be the game changer it is when it comes to growing our channel partners’ and providers’ businesses.” Sentient also offers self-service access to various options for gaining scalable tech and other channel resourc- es, including price quotes, sales efficien - cy, renewals, commissions and other functions, from a single pane-of-glass view. Schuman noted this aspect helps to improve engagement, from partner to seller to provider, closing any gaps. “The irony is that our industry has grown despite the fact many have run their shows like a good general contrac- tor who doesn’t own a cell phone, clip board or calculator,” said Schuman. “The fuzzy math, broken communication lines and serious business gaps in our indus- try have just been accepted and tolerat- ed. We, as an industry, have allowed it to happen. That all changes with Sentient.” Proactive partner engagement is a longtime tenet of the PlanetOne strate- gy, so is working hard and playing hard. “Everybody has their strengths,” said Schuman. “Ours has historically been our solid partner and provider engagement. We tailor our support resources around the agency to help them do business their way, not try to get them to conform to ours. We’re a direct salesforce in an indirect channel. We hunt new logos and help our channel partners grow their business profitably. “We are a true partner,” continued Schuman, noting that PlanetOne never shies from the “hard work” that many competitors eschew. “That doesn’t happen if you’re saying, ‘Don’t call us if you have a problem. Call your provider.’ We’ve never operated like that. We roll up our sleeves and get it done right. At PlanetOne, every- thing matters, and everyone is here to win for our partners and providers.” Because Sentient was born to live exclusively within the channel and developed with the partner ecosystem in mind, PlanetOne believes it gives an advantage over various service providers that would likely make such a service exclusive to their own product offerings. Rather, Schuman believes that Sentient is “unique” in that it “encompasses all of the providers that we do business with. Not only do the partners happily embrace this and start using the platform, but so have the providers out there.” Calling the rapid acceptance of Sentient by the provider commu- nity a “pleasant surprise,” Schuman concluded that the platform’s ultimate success will be based on two things: (1) “PlanetOne’s stellar reputation among partners, and (2), until we rolled it out, it simply didn’t exist anywhere.” And that forethought, Schuman said, makes all the difference. o For additional information on PlanetOne, visit PROFILE The Sentient GUI By Brady Hicks CHANNEL MANAGEMENT PlanetOne Revolutionizes Partner Enablement with Sentient Platform 69 Fall 2021 | CHANNEL V ISION