Winner of the Cloud Partner Program of the Year award at this year's Channel Innovation Awards, Marc André Fontaine, VP of sales and marketing at Sherweb, shares his personal highlight of 2020 and his predictions for 2021.
This article is part of a Meet the Winners Q&A series following the Channel Partner Insight's Channel Innovation Awards. Click here to see all of the award winners.
What has been your personal highlight of 2020?
Sherweb's MBA for MSPs program. We're always looking for new ways to help our partners thrive in this new cloud era, and business planning was identified as a major area of need this year. Our MBA for MSPs covers everything from marketing tactics to HR practices, and was designed to help MSPs and Sherweb partners optimize their business strategy for the coming year.
What has been the biggest challenge for your business this year?
I wouldn't call it a challenge, but we were given a huge opportunity this year to stay close to our partners and help them go through difficult times. We're not only a cloud distributor but a business partner with human compassion, and it was rewarding to be able to show that to partners when they really needed it.
How has COVID changed your business long term?
Honestly, not much! Sherweb was already well positioned to support channel partners in tough situations. This crisis just confirmed that we're working in the right direction to continue and improve that support. We'll continue to invest in security, automation, business mindset and sales and marketing expertise in the coming years to strengthen our value to our partners even more.
What technology or app has been most valuable to you during the pandemic?
Communication and remote work applications—Teams, UCaaS, Remote Desktop, etc. But aside from this obvious answer, security suites and security awareness programs have also been extremely valuable to both Sherweb and its partners.
What are your top predictions for 2021?
Remote work will continue. Businesses won't go back to a full-time, on-premises environment. This creates great opportunities for MSPs and ITSPs to explore new territories. Since everyone is working from home, clients can come from anywhere. A big learning point from the past year has been cash flow management; some partners suffered from bad cashflow management last year, and will evolve with more billing and collection automation next year as a result.
What does it mean to you to win Cloud Partner Program of the Year in this year's Channel Innovation Awards?
It validates that our efforts to serve partners are successful. We work very hard to be our partners' business partner. It's great to be recognized for what we do and the help we provide. We won't stop innovating and pursuing our mission anytime soon!
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