A Partner Event In The Clouds

    This year’s UK and Ireland Partner Forum was literally in the clouds!

    On June 14th, more than 50 partners and 90 attendees ascended to Landing 42 in the heart of the City of London. The Leadenhall building – affectionately called the ‘Cheese Grater’ – is home to the highest event venue in Europe and was the chosen location for this year’s UK and Ireland Partner event.

    After navigating the fastest elevator in Northern Europe - which soars 42 floors in just 8 seconds – the partners were treated to stunning panoramic views of London over a morning coffee. It was certainly made a distinctive change from a typical Starbucks and nicely set up the overall theme of ‘Driving Differentiation in UC’.

    UKI Sales Director Darren Pattie welcomed the group and explained ShoreTel’s commitment to partnership, channel support and the relentless focus on innovation. Adrian Hipkiss, ShoreTel’s vice president and managing director for EMEA, then took the stage for the main keynote. Adrian discussed how ShoreTel’s global strategy fully supports growth in EMEA and how that strategy is motivated by enabling partners to succeed with Connect, particularly given the increasing market demand for cloud-based delivery.

    After a short break, I then took the stage and talked about how the ICT sector can differentiate services in a digital environment. After dispelling a few myths and offering some ideas, the attendees then enjoyed a marketing quiz entitled, ‘Game of Phones’. Each member of the audience had to decide between two potential answers by holding up a card; one side black and one side white. It was a brutal contest; if you chose the wrong answer, you were instantly out of the great game. Luckily, three partners made it to the end and won a commemorative t-shirt for their endeavours.

    After lunch, Spencer Bradshaw, who heads our Solution Architect team, provided a whistle-stop tour of the ShoreTel roadmap providing the latest insights on the UC and Contact Centre portfolio. This session was then followed by two external speakers. First up, was Stephen Pace from SJS Solutions (one of our TechConnect partners) who showcased their core product called Optymyse and demonstrated how it can help partners differentiate in the Contact Centre space. The second external speaker was Helen Miall, an expert in digital journeys who presented some tips on customer engagement and ‘right time’ messaging that motivates prospects to take affirmative action.

    After a full day, Darren then closed the Partner Forum by awarding Response Data Communications a special recognition award for Cloud Business Excellence 2016; a well-deserved award to Managing Director Jason Evans and his terrific team. Lastly, a prize drawing took place for an Apple Watch which raised £530 from on-the-day partner donations for the Jack Raine Foundation, EMEA’s Charity of the Year. Everybody then retired to the Partner Appreciation Event in the Revolution Bar next door for a few welcome refreshments before heading home.

    Overall, it was a great day and partners voted the event 98% good or excellent in terms of experience. Thanks again to everyone who attended and I look forward to seeing some of you at the Global Partner Event in December. 

    Photo (l. to r.): ShoreTel UKI Sales Director Darren Pattie presents the Cloud Business Marketing Excellence 2016 award to Jason Evans and Sophie Nicholls of Response Data Communications. 

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