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Zendesk Pursues Global Channel Chief Hire, Partner Program Initiatives

Zendesk VP Marc Cabi

Zendesk CFO Elena Gomez

Zendesk is searching for a global worldwide head of partners and channels, and preparing to launch a more formalized partner program that scales to attract global systems integrators and more. Chatter about those efforts surfaced on Zendesk’s Q2 2018 earnings call on Tuesday.

Zendesk develops a suite of cloud software for customer support, knowledge bases, chat and more. The company competes with such fast-growing rivals as Freshworks and ServiceNow.

For its Q2 2018, revenue surged 40.1 percent to $141.9 million compared to Q2 2017. The figure beat Wall Street’s expectations by about $4.41 million, according to SeekingAlpha.

In the enterprise, Zendesk’s professional services revenues are growing faster than software revenues. Some Wall Street analysts are questioning the trend, and are nudging the company to get more serious about building a partner program that includes global systems integrators.

Zendesk Partner Investments: Set to Accelerate?

The company is ramping up to do exactly that. “We’re continuing our investments in partners,” CFO Elena Gomez told Wall Street analysts during the earnings call. “We believe that’s an important investment for us to get going this year to see some results in the upcoming years.”

Added Marc Cabi, VP of strategy and head of investor relations: “So Elena mentioned this earlier, we do have an open opportunity for a global worldwide head of partners and channels. And we believe that we’ll have more news to tell you here on that in the next couple quarters. We have been investing regionally in channel and partner activities for the past two years.”

Those efforts are currently led by Norm Gennaro, senior VP of worldwide sales. “Norm has been really focused on what each of those [channel and partner] teams regionally are doing,” Cabi said. “We’ve seen success regionally and we think there’s an opportunity for us to have a global program. But there’ll be more to say on that later.”

Intense Competition

Zendesk will need to move quickly. The company’s momentum is impressive but rivals are making moves. Freshworks just raised $100 million in new funding. And ServiceNow attracted thousands of partners to the company’s Knowledge 2018 conference earlier this year in Las Vegas. Midmarket MSPs were particularly active at that conference.

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