2017 UKI Partner Forum Continues To Drive Cloud Focus
As a sequel to the 2016 United Kingdom and Ireland (UKI) Partner Forum and ShoreTel Connect CLOUD launch roadshows, the cloud-based theme continued with an event that was once again high above the London skyline.
On April 6th, more than 80 partners and 120 attendees attended the 2017 ShoreTel UKI Partner Conference, soaring 35 floors to the Shangri-La Hotel located in The Shard, which overlooks the entire capital of London and the River Thames. It’s Europe’s highest hotel in Europe’s tallest building!
After taking in the stunning views over a morning coffee and freshly baked bites, the attendees moved to the main auditorium to enjoy the day’s agenda with the theme of ‘Accelerating Your Cloud UC Practice’. The primary goal of the day was to help UK and Irish partners accelerate marketing, sales and delivery of ShoreTel’s cloud unified communications portfolio including the newly launched ShoreTel Connect CLOUD service.
After a short introduction and welcome from UKI Sales Director Darren Pattie, ShoreTel CEO Don Joos took the stage to deliver the first keynote of the day entitled, Opportunity ShoreTel.
Don reflected on digital disruption and ShoreTel’s alignment to the global market opportunity for all kinds of human and machine-generated interactions. Don then handed over to Adrian Hipkiss, ShoreTel’s VP and Managing Director EMEA. Adrian continued to develop the disruption theme by discussing ShoreTel’s ‘cloud first’ product and service innovation roadmap and spotlighting how automation will be a driving force for managing all kinds of interactions at home, at work and on the move.
After the morning coffee break, Shannon Graham introduced the concept of The Integrated Platform Business, showing how the powerful combination of communication apps can deliver personalised experiences and give companies an edge in terms of customer service. He also explained how ShoreTel Summit has already enabled businesses and service providers to differentiate themselves with developer friendly tools, voice and SMS APIs and built-in application hosting.
The agenda then transitioned into a Marketing ‘trilogy’ of presentations which was a response to feedback from the 2016 Partner Forum to have more marketing content in this year’s event. I started proceedings with how to Create A Demand Formula, providing guidance to help reduce the dependency on outdated techniques of cold calling and isolated ‘silver bullet’ activities to drive demand. This session included an interactive quiz which provided every participant with a specific outcome on their readiness to go forth and create their own formula.
After lunch, the second Marketing presentation was delivered by ShoreTel’s Michael Quince who introduced the brand new Partner Marketing Hub. The partners were impressed with this new development which provides an automated option to launch co-branded digital marketing campaigns with analytics and the ability to take immediate action on ‘hot’ leads.
The third and final Marketing session entitled, Back to the ABM Future, featured guest speakers Chris Bagnall and Ricky Abbot from Pulse. They provided a 101 session on account-based marketing (ABM) and how blending contextual content, delivered at the right time to a specific audience can generate buyers.
After a full day, Darren then closed the Partner Forum by talking about the Base Migration programme to help existing customers move to ShoreTel Connect CLOUD. The day ended with awards for Phone Pulse (UC Deal of the Year) and NTS (Growth Partner of the Year). Cranberry Communications deserves a special mention for winning two awards: Cloud Deal of the Year and Cloud Partner of the Year. Congratulations to all the winners.
Everybody then retired to the Partner Appreciation Event in the Lobby next door for a few welcome refreshments and canapes before heading home. Overall, it was a great day and partners voted the event 95% good or excellent in terms of experience. Thanks again to everyone who attended and I hope you all enjoyed the jam!
On behalf of the management team, I would also like to thank all Partner Forum attendees for supporting our UK charity (Jack Raine Foundation) by making contributions to the raffle and raising £400 on the day.