Intermedia’s CRO Eric Martorano Takes a Deep Dive with CRN’s Editor in Chief
We’re fresh off of a fantastic showing at XChange Solution Provider March 4-6. We love getting out on the front lines and connecting with our partners and prospects. The feedback around our new UCaaS platform Intermedia Unite™ was highly favorable – so much so in fact that we won the XCellence Award for Best Keynote Presentation!
During the event, our CRO Eric Martorano sat down with CRN’s Editor in Chief Steve Burke to take a deep dive into Intermedia’s UCaaS strategy, channel differentiation, and why Intermedia Unite™ is different from any other UCaaS offering out there. You can find the full in-depth interview here. We’ve pulled out a few of the highlights and included them below.
What is the big difference between the Intermedia you joined 18 months ago and the Intermedia of today?
When you asked people who Intermedia was 18 months ago they thought of us a Hosted Exchange provider. That is the legacy of what we built. We were pioneers in that area and we delivered a remarkable product for a number of years. People didn’t look at us at that time as having a voice solution or being in UCaaS. Last year we educated the market on the new Intermedia. Intermedia is a unified communications and collaboration company. That is the company’s vision going forward. We have a very, very solid Hosted Exchange business and partners that have done extremely well. We are going to continue to invest in and support that.
At Intermedia, the channel is our most strategic asset.
What is the genesis of Intermedia Unite?
Four years ago, we acquired a company called Accessline. We saw an opportunity in the area of unified communications. With that acquisition, we spent a lot of time thinking through how we could deliver an industry-leading SMB UCaaS product. We took the Accessline product, acquired AnyMeeting® last year, which is video and web conferencing, then we brought all of that together with our SecuriSync® file and share product. We spent a lot of time bringing all of that together into one UCaaS offering that we launched under Intermedia Unite this February. There has been a lot of pent-up excitement about this product.
I feel truly blessed to work for a company that puts 100% of its focus on the channel and thinking channel-first when it comes to building product.
How big of a game-changer is Unite?
For partners, this is significant. A lot of our competitors are focused on enterprise. This product is not upmarket. It is not an enterprise solution. It is catered and built for the SMB. Even though it has a lot of the capabilities that enterprises need, it was built with the SMB in mind. The sweet spot for this product is under 100 users. Most companies are not building products for the SMB. They build products for the enterprise and SMB is an after-thought. For us, SMB is our priority. We have built a product that is catered to that SMB market. We have also built an infrastructure and support organization that supports that focus as well.
“What partners need to be asking is: What are they doing to increase their share of wallet and to protect their relationship with those customers?”
What is the difference between Intermedia and its competitors?
We are a channel-focused company. Eighty-plus percent of our business goes through the channel. Ninety percent of my sales and marketing budget is focused on the channel. I have built an organization over the last 18 months that is holistically structured to enable and activate and grow our channel partners’ business. You can’t look at another competitor out there that is doing the same thing. We have industry-leading programs and an organization that is industry-leading with sales engineers focused specifically on channel development. We have a field sales organization that is 100 percent focused on co-selling with channel partners. We have an inside sales organization that is specifically designed for partner account management and development. We have readiness and training programs 100 percent focused on preparing our channels. I can go on and on.
We go way beyond the commission. We give partners the ability to private-label their own products.”