Converging shifts in technology, demographics, culture and physical workspaces has changed the way businesses engage with and buy from channel partners.  Customers are now demanding more from channel partners. Joao Santos, Channel Account Manager at Polycom, a six-year collaboration industry veteran has seen the evolution first hand. Joao is focussed on helping partners navigate today's competitive environment. 

Get to know Joao, both his passion for the channel and his unique perspective on how it is similar to running, his other passion. Joao shares his take on working with solution providers as well as his experience running his sixth Boston Marathon. 


What is your current position with Polycom? 
Joao: I joined Polycom in August 2014 and it’s been great. Everyone is motivated and I love our fast paced, almost frenetic environment. I am a channel account manager in New England and I’m responsible for managing small to mid-sized partners. I’ve been in the industry for six years.


What is the recipe for success for the partners you work with in today’s challenging environment?

Joao:  and all comes down to the long term goal. Once it is determined, the next step is to design a plan and take the incremental steps required to achieve that long term goal.


JSBoston Marathon foto 28.jpg

The collaboration industry is evolving to accommodate the work place of the future. What can partners do to succeed?

Joao: Just like training for a marathon, it’s all about consistency. For example, from nutrition to running in bad weather, if you set out to run a marathon you have to stick with it. It’s the small wins that contribute to overall success for small to mid-size partners.  We’re doing everything we can at Polycom to work alongside them to help them execute their business plan.  But consistency is the key to helping their customers and growing over time. Success will happen, but it will occur over time. 


Good point, a good example of this is Polycom's recently launched Global Partner Program. It is designed to help channel partners build and or expand technical competencies in their defined industry.  The program encourages partners to invest in training and continued development to achieve success today and into the future. 


Shifting gears, you ran the Boston Marathon recently, tell us about that. Why Boston?  

Joao: This was my sixth Boston Marathon and it was an amazing experience. To be clear, I’m not a qualified runner. I ran and raised money for Boston Children’s Hospital, one of the top pediatric hospitals in the country. This hospital is near and dear to my heart. Several years ago my wife and I had twins; one was born with a congenital heart defect. For six months a team of doctors and nurses at Boston Children’s Hospital took care of her but she eventually passed. My wife and I wanted to do something special to honor her and help the hospital so we decided to run the Boston Marathon. People think a running a marathon is hard, but trust me it is easy in comparison to what we went through.


Tell us more, why is the Boston Marathon so special?

Joao: This race is special to me because of what my family went through and our charity work with Boston Children’s Hospital. I’m also a New Englander and I’m moved by the spirit and history associated with the race. It’s been two years since the Boston Marathon bombings and the race means even more now. I completed the Boston Marathon in 2013, the year the bombings occurred. I finished a few minutes before the first bomb exploded. I was only a few blocks away from where it happened. I thought it was a random accident in the subway but by the time the second bomb went off it was chaos.  Two years later, the race means more to everyone; if anything it motivated the city and the country to stand together.  


That’s the bigger lesson, when you set out to do something important—something that’s important for everyone around you—you’ll be motivated. You’ll keep doing what you need to do to achieve that goal and if you ever decide to stop, it’s typically for a bigger or more important reason. This is true for running, and it’s also true for channel partners competing in today's competitive environment and for every aspect in our lives.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Photograph: Joao Santos, Boston Marathon 2015


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