Cloud-focused contact centre software vendor Five9 continues its channel expansion by signing its first distribution deal, a global one with Westcon-Comstor. Westcon will help Five9 build out its solution provider channel
San Ramon CA-based Five9, which makes enterprise cloud contact centre software, has announced its first-ever distribution relationship, as the company continues its expansion beyond a direct sales model that it began last year. The agreement, with Westcon-Comstor, is a global one, which will see Westcon distribute Five9’s solutions in 150 countries worldwide.
“We see this relationship with Westcon as a way to accelerate our growth, not only in North America, but globally, said Wendell Black, Five9’s vice president of channel sales. “That’s what drove us down this path.”
Five9 is the leading pure cloud company in the contact centre software infrastructure market. They provide an end-to-end turnkey cloud solution, which lets customers contact agents over a broad range of channels, including phone, web, chat, email, mobile apps, and social media. Their cloud model has produced consistent 30-35 per cent growth in their enterprise business.
Until last year, almost all the company’s sales were direct. While approximately 40 per cent of their sales came through references from CRM-focused partners, Five9 made all the sales and had control of the customers. A year ago, they made the decision to expand their reach, with their first foray being into the telco space, with master agents in that model being their target. and the partners. Soon after, they decided to expand into the solution provider space. Black, a 25-year veteran whose pedigree includes sales VP jobs at Nortel and Oracle was brought in in October to lead the company’s channel efforts. A channel program, addressing the needs of all the partner types Five9 deals with, followed.
“This is the next stage of our expansion,” Black said. “This is a global distribution relationship that connects us with resellers and interconnect vendors all over the world. We have one contract with them, and they have contracts with thousands of resellers. The path of doing business is substantially streamlined.”
Five9 will be the only cloud-based contact centre technology vendor on Westcon’s line card, and Black said they complement the distributor’s roster well.
“We see a strong value proposition,” he said. “While we focus on the contact centre infrastructure, Westcon has historically focused on the unified communications side. When you marry that together, you can forklift out all the legacy technology and deliver a complete solution from the cloud. Through Westcon, we can team up with traditional PBX resellers to deliver a full end-to-end solution.”
Partner recruitment is a key part of Westcon’s job for Five9. At the beginning of the year, the company had approximately twenty partners, and are looking to massively expand that with quality partners vetted by the distributor.
“I would lean towards a few hundred partners globally,” Black said. “Westcon vets partners for us, and part of their value proposition to their network is they have done that vetting of the vendors as well, delivering new technology for their network.”
The plan is to roll with the single distributor.
“We see them as able to reach our target market,” Black added. “We see them as a force multiplier.
Internal training with Westcon is underway this week, for a North American launch of five cities.