Move to a new model from October just one of a number enhancements announced to partners before its Partner of the Year awards ceremony last night
Vodafone will move to a new commercial model in October based around revenue share, which it said will help drive value for its partners.
The operator made this, as well as a number of other announcements on changes in the coming months, to its dealers prior to its annual Partner of the Year awards ceremony in London last night.
A new ‘solutions specialist’ category will be added to the Vodafone Partner Programme, available to all dealers across the platinum, gold and silver tiers.
This will initially focus on Vodafone One Net, and will eventually encompass Microsoft 365 and upcoming releases to the operator’s unified communications portfolio.
Vodafone said the category was about finding partners with the highest level of expertise in its unified communications products and those that are delivering the amount of business it would expect from a high-performing One Net partner.
Successful dealers will receive enhanced commercials, additional marketing support, access to trial products and priority training of unified communications products. Vodafone said it expects all platinum partners to achieve this qualification within the current financial year.
The operator is also introducing measures to ensure its partners receive the same benefits seen through its own direct channels.
It will introduce field-based management for the first time into the partner programme, providing this service to larger and higher-value customers in the same way they would receive it directly.
Customers will also be surveyed, which Vodafone said will enable it to measure how well it and its partners are fulfilling the ethos of ‘providing the best partner customer experience bar none’.
Vodafone is to spend a quarter of its enterprise learning development budget on partners to form a new training package for them, also increasing the level of marketing investment. Commercials for partners to sell and drive One Net into their existing customer base will also be enhanced.
Events have been held at Vodafone’s head office in Newbury whereby partners have visited with their customers to view demonstration facilities and to participate in joint One Net events.
This will now be rolled out across the country in a move the operator said would give partners access to more demonstration facilities to help drive One Net into their customers.
Vodafone said it was also making a “significant investment” in terms of the operational and service support it provides its partners with.
At present, partner customers can phone Vodafone during normal business hours from Monday to Friday. From October, the operator is extending that so customers can contact a dedicated team. This will be open from 8am until 8pm, seven days a week.
Vodafone director of small enterprise Tim Stone said the changes are all geared towards Vodafone and its partners engaging in a philosophy of ‘better ways of working’.
“We are developing our capability through better ways of working, helping businesses to work in a more efficient manner,” he said. “At Vodafone we’ve changed the way we work and now we want to help our partners go on that journey.
“In this massively changing marketplace, where we’re moving from mainly x-generation people to a massively increasing group of y-generation people being in business, we all have to change what we’re doing.
“One of the things we know our partners appreciate is our clarity of direction and strategy for the enterprise organisation.”
Vodafone head of partner services Rob Mukherjee (pictured) added: “This is about a major evolution of the partner programme and driving to that goal of better ways of working. It’s important we invest in our partners in the same way we’ve invested in our own business.
“Our partners have recognised this and are really positive and excited about the huge opportunity they have with Vodafone in what is a tough economic environment.”