IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Zoom Introduces New Partner Program

Called Zoom Up, it unifies three previously separate programs and introduces a first-ever tiering structure designed to reward partners who invest in building a Zoom practice with extra margin and resources. By Rich Freeman

Zoom has launched its first unified, multi-tier partner program.

Officially unveiled on the same day the vendor made Zoom Phone, its unified communications as a service platform, available for sale through the channel for the first time, the new Zoom Up program pulls together previously separate offerings for referral partners, resellers, and service providers. Members can earn accreditations in technical sales and post sales now as well, and qualify for competencies in sales volume, Zoom Phone, and customer success, a discipline covering post-purchase rollout and customization.

Alongside sales revenue, accreditations and competencies both play central parts in the qualification process for the new program’s three tiers. Zoom Up is the first Zoom partner program to include levels.

“We really want to encourage partners to invest in Zoom,” says Laura Padilla, the company’s head of global business development and channel.

New members enter the program at the Enrolled level. Gaining accreditations and clearing sales targets qualifies them for the Sales level, where they receive deal registration and discount points on Zoom licenses. Partners who grow revenue further and earn at least one competency move up to the Performance level, where they get rebates as well as access to MDF.

Current Zoom partners have until September to qualify for one or another of Zoom Up’s tiers. 

New in Zoom Up as well is a partner demand center stocked with pre-assembled sales campaigns and marketing activities. An associated concierge service delivers personalized advice on utilizing those resources.

Previously sold directly by Zoom itself only, Zoom Phone is now available through partners as well in the U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Partners in the U.S. and Canada will be permitted to offer the service too at an unspecified time in the future. Partners will be allowed to sell the events platform Zoom shipped last July eventually as well.

To date, according to Padilla, Zoom has sold more than 2 million phone seats. The company is currently the world’s number four provider of paid cloud calling licenses, with a 4% share, according to Wainhouse Research. No vendor commands more than 10% of the market, which is served by a large and diverse field of vendors ranging from unified communications specialists like Vonage and RingCentral to bigger companies with broader portfolios such as Cisco and Microsoft. 

Zoom sees “huge” potential in phone services, according to Padilla. “It has a bigger [total addressable market] than the meetings product does,” she says. “The opportunity for partners and for Zoom in general is quite massive.”

Global UCaaS revenue will rise at a 14.5% CAGR through 2031 to $85.7 billion, according to Future Business Insights.

One of the biggest beneficiaries of exploding demand in recent years for cloud-based services generally and online collaboration platforms specifically, Zoom had grown its partner base roughly 10x since the start of the coronavirus pandemic as of last summer. It’s added another 3,500 partners since then, according to Padilla, and currently has about 8,000 companies of various kinds in its channel worldwide. 

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