One of Green Cloud’s core business principles is our dedication to helping our partners succeed. That means we do whatever it takes to ensure we address their business needs and are responsive when they require assistance with something… No matter what it is. Our Channel Management teams – comprised of a Channel Manager and a support cadre of Account Managers – are great examples of Green Cloud’s partner commitment and exemplify our strategic approach to building relationships in the field.
The chief objective of a Channel Management team is to help Green Cloud partners incorporate a new sales and delivery practice into their existing business. For many partners, the cloud remains unfamiliar territory and they often have many questions: How am I compensated? What internal operational changes do I need to make? How are the products supported? How will my employees get training?
From pre-sales engineering to service delivery and support, the Channel Management team goes into the field to interact directly with our partners. They’ll answer any and all of their questions and remain on-site to address any partner needs as they ramp up their cloud practice. We help identify where a Green Cloud solution-set fits into the partner’s core competencies. From there, we assist them in driving more value for their customers by combining their solutions with Green Cloud’s hosted products. The resulting product is often a totally unique, multi-vendor hybrid.
Early on, we recognized that face-to-face interaction with our partners is critically important to their success in the cloud. We’ve therefore made it a strategic goal to create and place Channel Management teams in the field where they can do some real good in helping our partners. The Channel Manager at the heart of each team is centrally located to serve an entire region of the country, while the Account Managers are placed in specific areas where we have clusters of partner business. The Account Manager then supports the Channel Manager with more targeted assistance to handle simple partner issues, while the Channel Manager travels to wherever they are needed most, typically handling large-scale matters like business consultations and cloud adoption procedures.
Channel Manager Mac McClenathan is based in Nashville but travels several days during the week to visit partners. There, he discusses the realities of their business: what’s working and what’s not, and where Green Cloud can help resolve any issues or obstacles they face.
“For a lot of our partners, the cloud is a totally new business model, and they need help figuring out how to incorporate that into their practice,” says Mac. “We can provide lots of assistance to them in adopting the cloud, and we also use our experiences to help them avoid the typical landmines that can sink a new venture. It’s hard to do that from behind a computer screen or over the telephone. Simply put: face-to-face matters.”
The Account Managers on the team handle day-to-day partner support, such as in-office sales training, sales engineering, project quoting, resolving technical issues, and even meeting with customers on a partner’s behalf and conducting data center tours. Additionally, Account Managers are a vital piece of our channel development strategy by networking and attending events to recruit partners and making themselves available to meet partners prospects who want to first vet Green Cloud as a potential provider.
Michael Bradberry is a Houston-based Account Manager who supports Mac’s channel management duties. In addition to everything else, Michael makes sure that partner service tickets are being handled and coordinates migrations and new deployment projects to ensure they remain on schedule. He sees himself as a valuable resource, providing an extra service to augment a partner’s business with no extra overhead required on their part.
“Being face-to-face means actually sitting in the partner’s office on a regular basis to review work orders and opportunities, and to ensure that all aspects of their cloud practice are running efficiently. I also work directly with a partner’s sales team, so they learn exactly what services their company can provide with Green Cloud solutions, and how best to present those options to their customers,” says Michael. “The partner gains the confidence that they can also get me on the phone at any time to provide technical or sales engineering support, help with quoting projects or even direct assistance with a customer if necessary.”
The impact of Green Cloud’s Channel Management teams can be measured in the success rates of our partners who engage with them. Their success speaks to the greater level of service we provide our partners, versus using one of the enterprise providers like AWS where the partner is merely “a tiny fish in a gigantic pond.” Rather than simply sticking a partner’s ticket into a work queue, Green Cloud is willing to stand by their side to assist with any issues or opportunities that arise. All of this effort is designed to give our partners peace of mind and deliver a personal level of service “touch” that enterprise providers don’t.