Scott McMaster shares what the shift means for channel partners.
Channel partners selling Arkadin platforms now are doing so under the NTT Ltd. division’s new name, Cloud Communications.
Last year, NTT Ltd. rebranded its technology operations and started bringing all its acquired companies under one umbrella. NTT bought Arkadin in 2013. This new announcement serves as the final piece of the overall acquisition strategy.
“Our go-to-market cloud offers are essentially the same as when we were known as Arkadin,” Scott McMaster, president of the Americas Cloud Communications unit of NTT, told Channel Partners. “However, we’ve now joined 27 sister companies – including Dimension Data, NTT Security and NTT Communications – to become a strong and united $11 billion company with 40,000 employees globally.”
As part of the shift, Cloud Communications has rolled out “new and exciting” rewards for agents and VARs, valid throughout 2020, McMaster said.
“We’ve implemented a great 3X SPIFF on cloud voice calling plans for the agent community,” he said. “And we’re offering additional incentives, on top of an already great rewards program, for our VAR partners selling Cisco Cloud PSTN solutions.”
The incentives may prove especially fruitful as partners support the many enterprises scrambling to support newly remote workers amid the COVID-19 crisis. NTT said as much in its press release discussing the Cloud Communications unveiling.
“The division will continue to act as a trusted adviser to organizations looking to accelerate modern collaboration within their workplace, which in the recent climate is more important than ever,” the release reads.
Indeed, McMaster said the NTT Cloud Communications team will continue their focus on their product lines, which comprise unified communications and collaboration based on Microsoft Teams and Cisco WebEx; the Cloud Voice portfolio that includes on-premises or cloud-based PBX, contact center and UC; and the digital events line, which includes webcasts, broadcasts and town halls. McMaster said demand for the latter services has been growing by double digits, and while he didn’t specifically attribute that increase to coronavirus-related deployments, it’s not a stretch to say that more organizations will choose this route to communicate with work-from-home employees.
Arkadin channel partners should be proud that NTT chose the company as the basis for its new Cloud Communications division, McMaster said.
“They see the value and strength our … cloud solutions bring to the market and the way we service our customers,” he told Channel Futures. “As part of the unified NTT Ltd., we bring more solutions to the table and work together to present consolidated offers. And though we’re now part NTT Ltd., we’re proud to say we maintain the close connections and personal touch and feel we offered our agent partners when we were known as Arkadin.”
In fact, McMaster added, “We are focused on partners more than ever, as they’re a critical component of our business moving forward. They represent the fastest-growing part of our business, and we embrace partners as a vital portion of our business.”
Cloud Communications also will keep working with its fully owned subsidiary, Applicable Ltd., a provider of cloud UC and enterprise voice services with offices in the U.K., Australia and the U.S.
In addition, NTT has hired Fiona Lodge and Jean Turgeon to work with the go-to-market and regional teams to drive adoption. Lodge has been appointed as chief product and strategy officer, working with partners including Microsoft and Cisco. Turgeon is serving as chief technology and information officer. He is tasked with internal and external services adoption.
“Both bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience which will help the division continue to provide best-in-class solutions, partnerships, assessments and consultations to customers on their digital transformation journeys towards an intelligent workplace,” said Mark Alexander, CEO of Cloud Communications, NTT Ltd.
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