Mitel makes changes to points system, certifications, in rejig of partner program

Mitel also plans to make some major changes to their marketing enablement policies for partners in the second half of the year.

Lana King, VP of Partner Programs and Training & Enablement at Mitel

Unified communications vendor Mitel has announced changes to their Global Partner Program. The most significant ones involve expanding the points system used to measure partner achievements, and the addition of a new Customer Lifecycle Engagement Certification.

“When we acquired ShoreTel [in 2017], we really simplified the partner program, and we adopted the points system at that point to recognize partners’ contributions,” said Lana King, VP of Partner Programs and Training & Enablement at Mitel. “That point-based system is very valuable. It has helped partners, especially in the U.S., adopt cloud more rapidly.”

The point-based system until now has rewarded partners for both onsite revenue and cloud revenue. The new changes add training points into the mix.

“We are also introducing subscription points a little later this year,” King said. “The point-based system gives us an opportunity to be strategic in how we reward specific behaviors. It gives a significant opportunity for partners to accelerate progress with training points and cloud accelerator points.”

Each tier level within the Mitel program all has specific numbers of points, and a minimum number of technical and sales people who need to be certified. The program is now adding points to recognize partners who go above and beyond minimum certification criteria.

“We looked at partner competencies, and found that ones with more skilled individuals on staff performed better,” King said. “So we wanted to give points for individuals going beyond and above minimum requirements. For every individual that completes certification beyond the minimum, they will now get a certain set of points. There is a balance, however. You can’t be a Platinum partner with zero dollars and dozens of people certified.”

Mitel has also added a new Customer Lifecycle Engagement Certification to make partners more effective in the management of customers throughout the customer lifecycle. The certification focuses on software assurance renewals, retention efforts, and supporting customers in their technology modernization initiatives from ensuring organizations are leveraging the latest release and features to guiding their migration to cloud or subscription offerings.

“The Customer Lifecycle Certification is for a variety of persons at the partner organizations,” King said. “It provides deeper insights into the customer, and ensure they do things like know the best migration path and stay up to date on the latest software release.”

King said this certification will simply be validation for many partners, while others do need the skills the certification requires.

Availability of the new certification is likely in Q3.

King also highlighted Mitel’s recently announced MiCloud Connect Partner Managed model as a further extension of the company’s partner-first, like the expansion of the points system.

“The new UCaaS motion allows partners to be in the driver seat, and gives them the opportunity to do what they have been doing,” she said.

King also affirmed that Mitel’s commitment to its partner approach has not been effected by the departure of former CEO Rich McBee and members of his leadership team to Riverbed last year.

“The present leadership team has the same partner-first mentality,” she stated. “It is deep in the bones and the blood.”

Looking ahead, further Mitel partner program initiatives this year will include streamlined quoting tools, and extensions of Mitel’s global Partner Interaction Center and program support teams.

“We will also be introducing some new marketing enhancements in the second half of the year,” King said.