Jaime Leverton, the newly named vice president and GM of Cogeco Peer 1 for Canada, is now armed with four channel programs along with a new partner portal to get the attention of solution providers in this country.
The colocation, network connectivity, hosting and cloud provider introduces four channel programs called Referral, Referral Plus, Reseller and Wholesale.
With the new programs in place, Leverton is attempting to provide something to every type of partner in Canada. The Referral program rewards a partner with a percentage on a closed deal, while Referral Plus has a higher percentage payout and can provide some much needed cashflow to solution providers. The Wholesale plan enables a partner to determine his or her own margin opportunity based on what the market will bear.
Margins on these programs will vary based on deal size but partners should expect between five to 20 points of margin.
Leverton, who is also acting as the company’s channel chief, wants to grow each area but the Reseller section along with Referral Plus is getting some extra focus because it has the most upside. The Reseller program is a straightforward authorization where a solution provider resells Cogeco Peer 1 solutions and services and are rewarded with discounts.
“We can be an alternative for the SMB partner and there is no risk of introducing a competitor to your customer. You can keep potential competitors out by partnering with Cogeco Peer 1,” Laverton said.
Another promise Laverton makes is that the company can be nimbler and turn things around quicker. Cogeco has a new partner portal that works as a central hub for all collaboration with the company including deal registration, contracts, marketing and sales collateral and technical resources. This portal is also integrated with Salesforce.com. One thing to note, all partners signed up for the Cogeco Peer 1 Partner Portal will be assigned a Channel Account rep. The partner portal web site is www.cogecopeer1.com/partners.
Responsiveness is going to be the main thrust of the new partner portal, Leverton said. Reps and tools will be in place for partners to get support on any deal. Partners will get access to sales engineers to help build solutions. There will be special pricing if necessary. “The portal is not about giving out a rate card and walking away,” she said.
Leverton has many years of channel experience. She has run channel programs and was the vice president of partner channels for BlackBerry in North America and then the entire Americas after a promotion. She also worked at Bell Canada on the partner program and got her start at IBM Canada.
“I believe the channel is a critical part to any growth strategy and I plan to continue to invest in the channel at Cogeco Peer 1. We want to drive an aggressive growth plan and the channel is the most important area in that plan,” she said.
Leverton is looking to create a healthy balance around 60/40 for the channel at Cogeco Peer 1. Another goal is to attain 15 new partners per quarter.
In terms of the opportunity for the channel with Cogeco Peer 1, Leverton said the market is asking more and more about data centre and collocation, which are two solutions the company offers.
According to her, companies are looking to move out of server rooms and options such as collocation and cloud will get a big uptick. “People do not want to manage their own infrastructure and those partners who had those server rooms to remain relevant to the customer should not lose that single point of contact and be a trusted provider by expanding the portfolio to capture the needs of the client.
The one thing with collocation services is that it provides the channel other opportunities to sell more product lines, she added.
“We are seeing more conversations around hybrid IT and the cloud has become a component of that story. It’s not an all or nothing type of environment but less on-premises with some workloads having a dedicated infrastructure. This is a great fit for collocation.”