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Why I Joined Zayo and Where I’m Focused, Now and in the Future

By Lynn D. Tinney, SVP of Global Partners

As you move through life and gain valuable career experience, you realize what’s important to you and those around you. Through 20 years in leadership roles at Siemens, Brightcove, Cisco, and others, I have learned what’s important to me. In December, I chose to join the smart and capable team at Zayo, where I am excited to continue building a world-class partner program.

Channel Fundamentals Remain The Same

I’ve worked in many industries — networking, security, video, and more. What I’ve found at every stop is this: the fundamentals of channel strategy remain the same. In joining Zayo, we are focused on the fundamentals once more: 1) be relevant to each other and 2) protect your relationships. The pandemic magnified the fundamentals and their importance to business success. Both were magnified together because they have a unique yin and yang relationship.

Be relevant to each other

Relevance presents itself in many different forms: margin, your solution, product support, pricing, availability, roadmaps, and brand identity. Relevance should deliver differentiation and a competitive advantage to serve your partners’ customers. Establishing relevance mainly comes from the top down. From a committed C-suite to product and marketing, these groups make decisions that position the field organization and your partners to be successful.

With the pandemic, every organization had to consider “What does relevance mean today?” Businesses scrambled to shift focus, asking questions like “What are the value-adds we can deliver to meet new customer needs?” and “How have their needs been reprioritized?” Those that made the seamless shift made important top-down decisions that made it possible to pivot overnight. But, for others, that moment was a kick in the teeth. Part of why I joined Zayo is because they recognize the changing nature of what is relevant today and the importance of meeting our customers’ and partners’ new needs. The QOS Networks acquisition is an excellent example of this. Zayo recognized we needed to be more relevant in SD-WAN and edge networking, so we acted on it. It demonstrates our attention to our customers’ and partners’ needs.

Protect relationships

While relevance is being decided from the top down, the other part of the yin and yang — relationships — is driven at the field level. It’s a business priority that is driven from the bottom up. It answers questions like “Do we enjoy selling together?” and “Do we trust each other and find mutual success?” Those questions help determine if the business will expand. Without solid relationships, it’s near impossible to drive growth, regardless of what comes from the top.

The pandemic has magnified the need to protect relationships because competition increased dramatically and speed became table-stakes. Relationships are so meaningful in a world where meetings are virtual rather than in-person. Understanding what the customer and partner need and meeting those needs quickly is the difference between gaining and losing business. You can’t just say the relationship is important — you have to demonstrate by establishing relevance and making an effort to show it.

It’s Not Just Window Dressing

Throughout my work, my teams work best with a mission statement and clear strategic elements. Two are based on the fundamentals of channel strategy — relevance and relationship — and the third is speed/efficiency. When you do your due diligence, you can tell which organizations are committed to building a strong and effective channel. From the very start, it’s clear Zayo is taking this channel investment seriously. We are thrilled to work across departments — Product, Marketing, RevOps, Customer Service, and more. We’re working in a very collaborative manner here. The commitment to channels and partners does not just sit with the channels team but across all of Zayo. Channels and partners are not window dressing here. We have a lot of work to do, but we are on the way. Partners and customers will see the commitment and the difference.

Learn more about our Channel Partner Program and get in touch with our team to discuss partnership opportunities — Zayo is ready to power your business anytime, anywhere.