Key Promotions to Support the Company’s Core Growth Initiatives
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.–January 8, 2014–Nationwide master agency PlanetOne Communications has made two key appointments to support its core growth strategies for 2014. Jonathan Hartman has been named vice president of sales, and Ross Thompson has been named channel manager. Both are based in PlanetOne’s Scottsdale office.
PlanetOne president Lauren Shapiro praised the appointments, noting that the two moves are designed to help PlanetOne partners reach deeper into their customers’ wallets and win more business with new technologies.
We are tremendously successful with what we have been doing with our sales partner base, and both Jonathan and Ross have been instrumental in our 30+ percent growth in 2013,” she said. “And as we move further into the cloud era, there is a vast well of potential customers that are larger enterprises looking to embrace the channel for its ability to provide a boutique experience and act as a technology advocate and single point of contact for all of their infrastructure needs. Jonathan and Ross, along with the rest of the team, are committed to helping our partners go after these new strategic opportunities to kick-start our growth in 2014.”
Hartman joined PlanetOne in May of 2010 as director of channel sales for the West after spending nearly four years as a channel manager at XO Communications. At XO he was responsible for supporting various master agency relationships, including the PlanetOne account. Prior to that, he was a co-owner and executive team member at a wireless ISP that was sold in 2006 after five successful years in business. He holds a B.S.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Denver.
Hartman said that as vice president of sales, a key initiative for him will be to help PlanetOne partners embrace fresh technologies to move upmarket as the traditional telecom and small and medium sized business (SMB) base continues to erode. For PlanetOne, the transition toward strategic growth in new customer segments will be a priority for 2014, he said.
“We’ve talked about convergence in the telecom and IT space for years but now we’re actually here,” Hartman noted. “There is an immense opportunity as we embrace new technologies that can help us win what was traditionally earmarked as IT money in the past–especially when it comes to cloud and managed services. But, it also means that we’re facing a more competitive environment, including serious competitors that are very focused on the SMB and midmarket telecom space, where they haven’t been before.”
As a result, partners need to strategically use the combination of PlanetOne’s portfolio offerings and their own consultative differentiators to win–and keep–business in midsize and larger accounts, which are still largely untapped when it comes to transitioning from on-premise IT. PlanetOne’s Telecom Partner Toolbox was recently launched to give partners go-to-market, customizable resources to bring value to their customers as they introduce new technology solutions. www.planetonetelecomtoolbox.com
“Right now there’s roughly an 80/20 split between IT and telecom spend in upmarket accounts–we’re going into these accounts hip to hip with our partners to capture both of those budgets, and to vertically grow revenue inside the enterprise within various business units,” Hartman said. “This approach means more revenue, and a more sustainable model, because accounts become sticker when you’re consulting on that much of a company’s critical infrastructure.”
Meanwhile, Thompson has held a key channel support position as client services manager for the western region at PlanetOne for the last two and a half years. Prior to Planet One, Thompson held an account manager position at Qwest Communications for four years, focused on the midmarket. He holds a B.A. from Arizona State University.
In his new role, he will be focused on widening opportunities for the existing channel partners that he’s already been supporting, as well as participating in the active recruitment and expansion of the partner base going forward. A specific focus will be on bringing new and emerging technologies to the fore, to help agents uncover additional revenue veins that may not have been there in the past.
“Our partners have an immense opportunity to go after a greater share of their customers’ wallets than they ever have before, thanks to the rise of cloud services,” Thompson said. “I’m also looking forward to assisting our partners in growing their business by tapping into what PlanetOne offers as a whole, including our back office, technology expertise, the support and assistance of our vendors, and working with everyone on the team to jointly ensure our partners’ success.”
Shapiro added, “we are embarking on a great start to 2014 and these two promotions set the stage for continued success and another fantastic year for PlanetOne. Stay tuned for more breaking news announcements in the coming weeks.”
PlanetOne is the IT channel and telecom industry’s preferred business partner for identifying and delivering cloud-based and connectivity solutions to small and midsize businesses and enterprises. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., the industry pioneer is celebrated by Inc. Magazine as one of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies and regarded as a top-performing partner for hundreds of telecom agents and channel partners nationwide. The award-winning PlanetOne Partner Program has been recognized as one of the Top 50 Channel Programs in the industry for the past five consecutive years by Channel Partners and recently named to CRN’s 2014 Connectivity Partner Guide. To reach PlanetOne call (877) 487.8353 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Suzanne Collier, WhiteFox Marketing for PlanetOne