Driving Channel Growth with Adele Knox-Roberts
Happy Holidays and welcome back to the #FuzeLife blog series! As the year draws to a close we, like many professionals, are laser-focused on 2018 and the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead of us. Part of that opportunity is how we approach our growth strategy. To give you a better idea of how this will take shape, we sat down with UK Channel Director Adele Knox-Roberts, one of the latest additions to the Fuze team, for her perspective. Find the full interview below.
Can you tell us about yourself and what brought you to Fuze?
I’ve been working in IT for roughly 25 years, and I have to say, the experience over the last few months has been unlike anything I could have imagined. The bulk of my time has been spent within the enterprise channel – working with Microsoft, Cisco and Symantec. To say the move to a startup like Fuze was a bit of a culture shock would be an understatement. It’s such a fast-paced environment, especially considering the old-school world where I built my career. The platform itself has been a tremendous help in the transition, between the UI and really simple mobile integration. Things might be moving a lot faster than I’m historically used to, but I feel more productive than I’ve ever been.
But as to what initially intrigued me about Fuze – I’d say there are two answers to that question. The first comes back to my experience in the channel. One of the great passions of my career has been working in partner programs and building these relationships across the UK and Ireland. What I’ve seen, especially in the last few years, has been a widespread transition to the cloud. A disproportionate amount of businesses has either already made the jump, or they’re in the process of building that cloud strategy. Fuze drew my eye quickly, in that it’s a company that was built on a cloud foundation well ahead of the curve. With channel growth top of mind, I saw a really exciting opportunity to help shape its next phase of growth. The second was the industry itself. When I posted on LinkedIn about the new role, I had so many colleagues reach out commenting on how UCaaS just keeps growing as a market. Overall, seemed like a perfect match.
You touched on the next phase of Fuze’s growth – what role will the channel play in that?
Over the last few years Fuze’s has really ramped up its channel strategy. I know earlier this year you connected with my colleague Max Errigo, Fuze’s EMEA Channel Director. He’s been laying a very strong foundation that we intend to build upon. Where the channel initially accounted for less than 10 percent of our overall revenue, it’s jumped to nearly 50 percent. With Chris Doggett at the helm of our sales organization and his strong channel background, we’re aiming towards growing that even more.
The good news for us, is that the landscape is ripe for a channel-first strategy. As more businesses embrace digital transformation, the way businesses make purchasing decisions has changed right along with it. Partner programs and the indirect sales model have become a significant driver of the more sustained, strategic growth Fuze is looking to embrace. Between a product that (from my own personal experience) enables the modern employee and a leadership team that is in it for the long haul, I’m really excited about where the next few years are headed. In the short term, I really do believe that 2018 is going to be the year of the channel.
Want to catch up on the #FuzeLife blog series? Find your reading list here:
- The Structured Flexibility of Remote Work Success with Michael Affronti
- Embracing the #FuzeLife: Leadership Lessons from the World of Product Management
- On Living the #FuzeLife: Q&A with Fuze Product Director Jed Brown
- Un Giorno Nella #FuzeLife – A Q&A with Max Errigo, Fuze’s EMEA Channel Director
- A Day in the #FuzeLife: Creating Work-Life Balance Without Sacrificing Career Goals