contact button

From MOFNs to Amazing Street Food – Top Four Takeaways from Global PartnerPlus Xchanges

Jon Baldry

July 2, 2024
By Jon Baldry
Director, Metro Marketing

One of the great parts of the Solutions Marketing roles here at Infinera is that we get to wear many hats and engage with lots of different Infinera teams, customers, and partners. One of these hats that I wear is supporting our global partner team as we expand our global partner network and our PartnerPlus program. As part of this, I recently led the content side of our series of two-day PartnerPlus Xchanges that we hosted around the globe, in Dallas, Istanbul, and Ho Chi Minh City, for our partner community.

Our PartnerPlus network is an integral part of the Infinera sales team, so these events are very important to both Infinera and the partners and are a great opportunity for face-to-face engagement. With approximately 45-50 PartnerPlus attendees per event, these Xchanges are big enough to drive great discussions but small enough that we can keep them intimate. Everyone gets a say and can meet or network with those who they need to from both Infinera and the rest of the partner network. Feedback from participants has been very positive, with multiple comments that the 2023 Xchanges (the first set of global events we did in this style) were great, but the 2024 Xchanges were even better.

So, in this blog, I’d like to cover my top four takeaways from this year’s PartnerPlus Xchanges:

1: An Amazing Breadth of Application Coverage

The range of customer segments and applications that our partners cover has expanded significantly over recent years. Historically, Infinera partners gave excellent coverage in segments that you’d typically expect from partners with their specific in-depth relationships and broader product portfolios, such as networks for some government sectors or enterprise and utility company networks. The case studies presented by partners and the topics discussed in the very interactive breakout sessions at the Xchanges showed how broad the range of applications addressed by partners has become. In addition to those applications that we’d expect to be covered, we are now seeing almost every optical networking segment being addressed by partners, including subsea projects for major international telecom operators and managed optical fiber networks (MOFNs) for major internet content providers (ICPs).

2: An Amazing Range of Partners

Hot on the heels of the first takeaway is the amazing range of partners that Infinera now has in the PartnerPlus program. This group has expanded significantly over the last couple of years and now ranges from smaller, highly specialized partners who target specific countries or market segments through to some of the largest global systems integrators addressing optical networks. This range of partners was illustrated well by the wide range of 2024 PartnerPlus Award winners:

Infinera 2024 PartnerPlus Award Winners

3: “The transformation that Infinera outlined in 2023 is real”

During our first series of Global PartnerPlus Xchanges in 2023, we focused on outlining the plans for the newly updated PartnerPlus program and revised focus on partners within Infinera, as well as the company’s go-to-market product strategy driven by the GX Series, XTM Series, ICE-X intelligent coherent pluggables, and Transcend automation software suite. This year feedback from partners showed that it was very evident that the transformation we’d outlined in 2023 around the revised program and the portfolio was very real and happening. The increased focus on partners inside Infinera was also very evident. The partners liked the changes and advances we’d outlined in 2023 and were really pleased to see the progress we’d made and the positive impact this was having on our collective business.

4: The Importance of Networking

Obviously “networking” in a datacom/telecom sense is very important to everyone at these Xchanges – it underpins our collective success and businesses. But networking in a human sense is very important too. It’s important for the Infinera team to spend time with attendees in a more relaxed setting and without PowerPoint slides driving the discussion. And it is important for partner attendees to network with their peers at other PartnerPlus partners to share experiences and ideas. To foster this aspect of the event, we always add a team-building element to the Xchange program to help build these relationships.

Collage of photos from Infinera Global PartnerPlus Xchanges

Collage of photos from Infinera Global PartnerPlus Xchanges

In Dallas we had a great time being highly competitive in Game Show Battle Rooms, where we battled over games based on popular TV game shows. The gloves were really off at times, in a very competitive but fun way. In Istanbul the team enjoyed a cruise along the Bosphorus river, although I personally had to miss this as I had to leave the Xchange early to join team members from Infinera and one of our partners, Xantaro, for a four-day charity run from London to Paris, but that’s another story altogether! I did hear the cruise was very good though. And in Ho Chi Minh City we broke up into small groups for a fantastic street food tour. It was a brilliant way to see the city and to experience the amazing food. Being in small groups to experience the tour really helped with that networking aspect.

So overall, that is another year of PartnerPlus Xchanges completed. Putting them together involved lot of work from the partner teams, both global partner management and the regional teams, and from many members of the marketing team. With lots of great feedback from attendees, it seems it was worth the effort. I’m looking forward to the 2025 Xchanges – hope to see even more of you there!

Tags: Channel