Products the Channel Can Sell

By Jennifer Lawinski  |  Print this article Print

Siemens Enterprise Communications channel chief Patrick Kehoe says he has fixed the bugs in the company's channel program and is going after market share from companies like Cisco and Nortel.

Products the Channel Can Sell

"That has gained as much traction as our technology – the sense that we actually value them," said Andy Howard, who left Nortel to become Siemens's VP of Channel Collaboration earlier this year.

Part of that, Kehoe said, has been ensuring that the company is giving the channel products it can sell, and sell successfully.

"We've made great strides over this past year to provide to the partner community an end-to-end portfolio whether they're serving the small market or the largest market, there is a viable strong product and solution set that is available for partners today," he said.

Siemens is also looking to take UC to the cloud, and while many partners are on board, some are hesitant.

The challenge, according to Howard, is helping partners understand how to turn up-front $100,000 sales into recurring revenue streams that are as valuable over time, but that don't bring a huge chunk of change at the beginning.

"Most channel partners have PBX mindset… now they see themselves moving into this solutions/services base that's a little confusing to map from a revenue perspective," Howard said. "The deal value is as good as or greater than they would have in the old PBX days since you're providing the customer with more tactile services than just the dial tone. The concept is broadly engaging with your finance team and your backers to realize that the money is still there. The profitability is being enhanced; it's just being spread over a longer period of time."