My role at 8x8 is to champion Intelisys and help them, and their partners grow their businesses. 2020 was, well, something.  Amid the tragedy, there was triumph.  8x8 and Intelisys teamed together a lot in the past year to help end-customers adapt to pandemic conditions and set up for a resilient future.  We’re proud of what we accomplished together over the last twelve months.  As a way of showing our gratitude to them and their partner community, let’s recap a few 2020 highlights and preview what is ahead.

One of the biggest ways we invested in Intelisys’ success last year was via an extensive demand generation program featuring email campaigns, a webinar-in-a-box program, our famous blitz days, and a wide array of content to showcase how 8x8 products and services fit into their customer solutions.

The work paid off, enabling technology partners like System Target to help the Kansas City Royals to quickly spin up a contact center so their ticket agents and other staff could work from home.  Also, a team from Affiliated Communications designed a complete cloud communications solution for Acer, including cloud telephony and contact center.  There are many more examples from the past year.  It really shows how relentless focus on responsiveness and personalized support contributes to customer wins and success.

Intelisys Channel Connect Virtual Event

8x8 was a Diamond sponsor of Intelisys’ Channel Connect 2020 virtual event held last October. We were proud to see 8x8 partner Steve Gerhardt of D&M Enterprise Group receive the 2020 Chuck Mache Award, which recognizes the hard work of getting better. 8x8’s channel leader, John DeLozier, gave his Golden Era of Communications speech, and we virtually connected with more than 1,400 partners from 411 different organizations.  Even though this was a virtual event, the buzz was real.  Attendees were very interested to learn more about how cloud communications can help them grow their business.

The 8x8 team was also humbled to earn, for the second year in a row, Intelisys’ Top Overall Supplier award, which was voted on by the partner community!  DeLozier, on behalf of the entire 8x8 Channel team, made a video to express 8x8’s gratitude.  

Moving Forward

2020’s trials and tribulations have generated momentum for 2021.  There are tremendous opportunities to help VARs, subagents...everyone in the channel community to help organizations either introduce cloud communications or build on what they did last year.  While Covid accelerated cloud adoption, the percentage of businesses that have made the jump is still low.

Telephony and contact center will continue to be in demand.  Businesses and educational institutions are already figuring out how to utilize video in new ways.  We are already seeing video embedded into Websites so visitors can click to launch a live video session with a salesperson.  AI technology is maturing to help users optimize everything from workflows, agent scheduling, and more.  Voice solutions for Microsoft Teams are going to be huge.  Customers want better analytics and more automation, including self-service capabilities to deliver great customer experiences.

This means we have our work cut out for us to help our partners fully take advantage of all of these opportunities to serve clients.  And let me tell you.  We are excited.  We are recommitting to deliver great enablement materials and other resources for all our partners.  We will continue to listen to your needs and respond with enthusiastic energy so we can all grow together.  As we like to say, we are filled with partner love.

There are so many people who played a central role in our partnership; it would be impossible to name them all.  From Mark Morgan and Mike Baur to the sales teams, solutions engineers, and PSRs to the supplier management team, iCSU team, and commissions team - we are so tightly aligned that nearly every person at Intelisys contributed to our success in 2020.

Lastly, I want to wish everyone in the Intelisys community a happy new year.  We are going to continue to do great things.  A few months ago, we earned our second overall supplier award at Channel Connect.  We are anxiously looking forward to seeing everyone in person at Channel Connect 2021, where we have made it a priority to earn a “threepeat.”

Happy New Year.

Carri Stansbury is an 8x8 National Channel Director responsible for the Global Intelisys and 8x8 relationship.