Star2Star recently added two high profile channel veterans to its leadership team.
In January Star2Star named Rich Long SVP, Channel Development. Long came from Alert Logic, where he served as vice president of channels.
Long commented on his migration to Star2Star.
“I’ve always admired Star2Star and the basic tenants of what they stand for,” Long said. “They offer a reliable and extensive product portfolio, along with amazing customer service. So when the right opportunity opened up at the right time, I jumped without hesitation.”
Star2Star also hired Mick Miralis, formerly of Citrix, to serve as their new EVP, Channel Sales. Miralis has a demonstrated history of success working with enterprise cloud companies, and a wealth of experience bringing new products to market.
After researching the market, Miralis found that Star2Star checked all of his boxes, as a highly flexible and unified option.
“Star2Star offers a fully integrated communications platform that’s SaaS-based and can be leveraged in a virtual desktop world,” Miralis said. “Plus, when you peel back the layers it’s clear that the company has very a strong financial record and an absolutely stellar customer retention rate. So it’s a great fit.”
Star2Star’s retention rate, it should be noted, is now hovering around 99.4 percent. The company is also entirely channel based.
“Not a bit of our revenue flows outside of our partners,” Long added.
What’s more, Star2Star is now offering one of the most flexible and unique partner models in the industry.
“Most of the UC partners that I’m familiar with don’t need evangelizing on what UC is, or why it’s important,” Long said. “They know that in and out. They live it every day. But what they want are flexible models where they can participate in the service and support of their clients in the way that they choose.”
Star2Star will handle as much or as little as the partner wants them to.
“Some partners prefer to take on a deeper role in terms of implementation and support and that’s a model that we embrace and celebrate and reward our partners for doing,” Long said. “Different partners have different ways of conducting their business and skill sets for supporting their clients and that value is important to them. We respect what makes the partner ‘sticky’ to their clients. We let them participate in a modular way and then reward them accordingly.”
For Miralis, Star2Star’s willingness to provide a high level of engagement is one factor that led him to the company.
“We engage heavily with our partners,” Miralis said. “We don’t just transfer knowledge and leave the partner to start selling if they’re not in a position to do so. We’re fully embedding our sales team and our channel managers in the field within the business so they can collaborate at a practical level, day in and day out.”
Looking ahead to the rest of 2020, Star2Star is expected to accelerate their growth further into the mid and enterprise markets as they expand their strategic partnerships such as their one with Citrix. In addition, Blueface—which merged with StarStar in 2018—was recently acquired by Comcast which will ultimately benefit Star2Star in the long run.
“I think we have a big opportunity ahead of us,” Miralis said. “The enterprise space has about a 2 percent penetration. Mid-market is about 12 percent. The SMB space is in the low 30s. But when you look at our differentiation, how we take that complexity out of the channel ecosystem and how we’re growing in the new markets that we’re developing, I think it’s going to be a fantastic year.”
Long mentioned how the company plans to capitalize on the continued shift to hosted and deployed models.
“We have an advantage with partner communities that are already deploying premise-based solutions, but also want to accelerate the adoption of their clients and prospects to hosted models,” Long said. “We provide them an opportunity to do that and participate in those service models and get those service streams. We think that’s unique, and because of our experience doing that over many years, there’s a trust level and there’s an operational efficiency that’s already in place.”
Star2Star will also be looking to tap into the demand for digital transformation and cloud migration.
“We are a cloud-based solution,” Miralis concluded. “Our goal is to further tap into the ‘SaaSification’ trend. We’re all about innovation and staying ahead of the curve. We know where the trends are. It’s all about SaaS and the cloud that is core to how we’re going to market.”