Vodafone UK has announced that more than 100 partners have been accredited in the first phase of its new enterprise programme, which comes into effect on 1 January 2017.
The new Vodafone Partner Programme elevates Partner capabilities and operational standards for delivering customer service excellence across Vodafone's Total Communications solutions. For the first time, Partners have been able to achieve Vodafone certification across the Vodafone Fixed, Mobile, Converged and Cloud portfolio of technologies.
The move to highlight Partner capabilities has been made to support customer requirements, as businesses look to Vodafone and the channel for trusted expertise in communications infrastructure and services, to support smart working practices and digital transformation initiatives.
Nick Birtwistle, Director of Partners and Strategic Alliances at Vodafone UK said: "From unified communications to the Internet of Things, digital technologies are enhancing the way businesses and public services work. This is driving transformation in the design and delivery of communications infrastructure and services, and demand for converged solutions. We have designed our new programme to equip our partners with the highest-levels of training and support around our portfolio of technologies. We believe this will help them to take a leading position in this new era of communications and provide continued service excellence for customers.
"We're delighted to announce the first Partners to our programme and will continue to work with the many others who are aiming to qualify for the programme ahead of our second accreditation date in June."
The Vodafone Partner Programme marks a shift in the way industry Partners are supported, providing extensive online training resources as well as expanded access to specialist sector and technology expertise across Vodafone's enterprise business. Moving away from traditional tiered partner models, the new programme recognises Partners with four new status categories: Total Communications; Advanced; Specialist; and Approved.
To achieve accreditation Partners are required to pass stringent assessment, in line with new customer support criteria, as well as making committed investment to skills and training. Support for the programme from some of the Partners accredited includes:
Jack Lish, Business Process Manager, Onecom: "We've just found out that we have been awarded Total Communications status as part of Vodafone's new programme, which is fantastic news. Qualifying for the programme does put you through your paces but it is totally worth the investment and will ensure Vodafone's Partners stand out in terms of their capabilities and focus on service excellence. The programme is packed full of training and qualifications support around all aspects of customer engagement and provides a seamless bridge from Vodafone's enterprise portfolio to our own offerings. A lot of work has obviously gone into developing the programme's training element. Not only does it provide a really efficient way to provide a continuous knowledge stream for our experts but it also gives us a ready-made induction course for our new starters. We've plans to embed the training within our own learning and development programme."
Paul Butler, Chief Commercial Officer, Olive: "From the value it places on training and coaching to putting customer service excellence at the heart of what we do, the new Vodafone Partner Programme is truly industry-leading. It places greater reward on the value of consultative support to help customers achieve new capabilities versus just selling products.
We have completely transformed our business, building on our mobile expertise to focus on cloud unified communications and Vodafone's total communications portfolio. This, supported by Vodafone's training and expertise, enables us to have more rounded, broader conversations with our customers about their needs. Taking the training as part of the submission process has already yielded results with customers. We've been really impressed with what the programme offers and we are very pleased to have been awarded Total Communications Status"
Vinod Kakkar, Managing Director, Citycom: "Vodafone is leading the way and has designed a programme that will allow us to deliver the outstanding customer experience that we want to deliver. This programme really reflects the opportunity we have to help customers transform the way they work and create new opportunities to drive growth. It's been designed to provide guidance and support in what is a new era of communications and position Partners for success. For Citycom, this means being able to expand our focus from providing mobile expertise to being well placed to support demand for unified communications. We're proud to have achieved Advanced Partner Status under the new Vodafone Partner Programme and recognised as a specialist in Total Mobile and Core Fixed Data."
Peter Szirtes, Director, Assimilated Communications: "We've just heard that we have achieved the Approved Partner Status for our Core Mobile expertise under the new Vodafone Partner Programme, which is brilliant for us. The business development benefits that the Programme offers will help us get our message heard and build a valuable pipeline of opportunity. Mobile is driving transformation in how businesses large and small work, leading us to new customer conversations. This programme will really enable us to highlight our specialist capabilities and service offering. It also gives us a fantastic platform to use to expand our business development opportunities as we potentially explore new avenues in the future."
Shez Cheema, Chief Executive, PMGC: "A well thought out and structured accreditation programme that has the potential long-term to deliver strong partnership benefits to Vodafone and the Partner."
Thomas Nelson-Conway, Managing Director, Pure Business Services: "The first partner programme to put partner capability at its heart."
Jeetinder Pinder, Director and Co-founder, Crystaline: "A partner programme within the telecoms arena like no other."
Michael Rogers, Vendor Manager, ANS group: "The unique benefits of the Vodafone Partner Program allow us to not only differentiate ourselves from the competition, but also enable us to provide an unparalleled level of service to both new and existing customers"
Channel organisations that are keen to know more about the programme can contact Vodafone UK at [email protected]
Notes to editors
Features of the new Vodafone Partner Programme include:
- Vodafone Partner Portal - which offers a wealth of materials and tools that partners need in one place including:
- Training Partner Support from the Vodafone team
- Sales & Marketing tools and collateral
- News and communications
- Products & Solutions information
- Training and Certification materials. Vodafone has invested in tools, training and enablement materials to help Partners build their skills around key technology growth areas such as Unified Communications. Vodafone is committed to growing these assets as its portfolio grows. The Training and Certification programme is the result of 12 months' work and provides over 150 hours of learning materials.
- Vodafone Marketing Toolkit - which helps Partners save marketing budget, time and resource with off-the-shelf marketing campaign materials they can brand as their own. Many partners don't have their own in-house marketing resources so this gives them 'a virtual marketing manager' and access to free marketing tools to improve and nurture their own pipeline. It enables Partners to give their marketing activity a professional and credible edge and makes it easier to produce marketing collateral and campaigns. The toolkit also offers marketing training to partners and will incorporate social media tools.
The new Vodafone Partner Programme incorporates the following new status levels:
- Total Communications Status
To achieve this status, a Partner demonstrates outstanding levels of customer excellence and business operations, and is ideally placed to help its customers leverage the benefits of Total Communications with the highest expertise in both Vodafone Fixed and Mobile solutions. The partner has invested over 1,000 hours of Vodafone capability training right across its business including sales, operations and support.
- Advanced Status
An Advanced Status Partner has invested in acquiring capabilities around Fixed and Mobile, with a specialism in either, and is demonstrating a high-level of customer excellence.
- Specialist status
A partner with Specialist Status has demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of Vodafone Fixed and Mobile solutions, provides additional specialist support and is driving customer excellence across its business. Specialist Partners with a Total Mobile capability, for example, offer more advanced mobile solutions such as One Net Business, VSDM and cloud collaboration services such as Microsoft® Office 365. Specialist Partners with a Fixed capability will sell either Core Voice or Data solutions and deliver a range of connectivity products from Vodafone e.g. WAN / LAN / MPLS, to meet their customer needs.
- Approved status
An Approved Partner has achieved the required level of knowledge in Vodafone's Fixed or Mobile solutions through capability training, and is driving customer excellence across its business. If a customer knows exactly what it needs around Fixed or Mobile - then an Approved Partner will be able to support its requirements with ease.