Windstream has announced an enhanced partner strategy to determine the cloud readiness of its current network partners.
Developed in response to channel partner feedback, the idea is for Windstream to cater training and sales enablement tools to its partners, based on their “cloud ready” or “cloud motivated” status. In January, more than 200 of Windstream’s top partners completed a cloud readiness assessment. Both the “cloud ready” and “cloud motivated” categories offer insight into how participating partners are positioned for growth in selling cloud solutions. Windstream will accordingly provide training and support options based on the partners’ level of skill and readiness. Some of the training opportunities include computer-based training, instructor-led Webinars and in-person seminars.
“At Windstream, we’re committed to helping our channel partners understand the cloud space, to supporting their advancement and success, and to building solid relationships with their customers,” said Matt Preschern, Windstream’s senior vice president and enterprise chief marketing officer. “Whether our partners are ‘cloud ready,’ with strategies firmly in place, or ‘cloud motivated’ and recognize their need to tackle the cloud solutions suite, Windstream is going beyond typical provider certification by establishing specific training and support paths to foster the continued and sustained success of our channel partners.”
According to Ovum’s global small and mid-size business survey findings, nearly 40 percent of those not using cloud services today are planning to deploy a cloud service within the next year.
“Our survey verified that telecommunication service providers are also in a very strong trust position with small to mid-sized customers, and key to customer adoption of cloud services is having strong sales resources including channel partners who can provide the required support including training and on-going service management for customers,” said Mike Sapien, principal analyst at Ovum.
To support the strategy, Windstream added an additional 10 channel managers who are focused on cloud and data center services. These channel managers will recruit new VAR and cloud-focused partners and will serve as subject matter experts to better support network channel managers and partners. Cloud channel managers will be the partners’ dedicated cloud resource, thus strengthening their relationship with Windstream.
“By helping our partners become more comfortable with cloud solutions, we are strengthening our position in the cloud market, ensuring our partners’ success, and extending the cloud product suite to even more customers and prospects,” said Preschern. “Our partners are accustomed to Windstream’s ‘smart solutions, personalized service’ brand promise, and offering these enhanced sales enablement tools provides even more opportunities for them to win in the marketplace.”