The beginning of every year is an exciting time for everyone. However, in the Freshworks partner team, we have one more reason to look forward to the new year—the Freshworks Partner Conference. ❤️
At the heart of this annual, invite-only event, is one fundamental goal—to engage with our partners, and enable them to assist their customers with leveraging maximum utilization from our products.
The year 2019 saw the 4th edition of the conference, bigger and better than anything we had done before. From 12th to 15th March, we played host to solution partners and independent service vendors (ISVs) from all over the world.
“This is my first time at the Freshworks partner conference, and it was a big opportunity for me to engage with other partners from around the world. There was a wealth of opportunities to learn and network. I am going back to Vietnam with a lot of knowledge that I can leverage in my business.”
– Dang Nguyen, Sales Manager, InfoFabrica
The Freshworks partner conference has always been close to our hearts, and this year we went all guns blazing to make this event the benchmark for the years to come. Determined to deliver an exceptional collaborative business experience, we started prepping for the conference started as early as October, last year.
“This our moment, people. Let’s make it count!”
– Anand Venkatraman, VP Channels and Marketplace, Freshworks
This adage resonated within the Freshworks office in Chennai, and we made it count and how! We had 70% attendance at the conference, with attendees from 25+ countries.
Meeting of the minds
The cornerstone of every event is the agenda. After several brainstorming sessions, we drafted a classic agenda that was packed with insightful content and several key takeaways.
But this was trashed. After. One. Team. Meeting.
We had different partners attending the conference, which meant factoring new and varied personas into the agenda. So we went back to the drawing board to tailor the sessions according to our audience. After multiple rounds of iterations and coordinating with the speakers, we had a winner!
As we were inching closer to the event, the team’s excitement was palpable. The registrations were pouring in and preparations were in full swing. The icing on the cake was a clear directive from Anand that the conference should not just be about work but should also be peppered with fun, memorable moments.
But let’s start at the beginning of the conference.
Keeping them inspired by our vision and mission
The first day of the conference saw a packed house. The business keynotes by Girish Mathrubootham (fondly known as G), our founder and CEO, Sidharth Malik, our CRO, and Anand inspired everyone in that room.
“All of us exist to deliver moments of ‘wow’. This is who we (Freshworks) are as a company. I hope, as partners, you will join us in creating these moments of wow for our customers.”
– Girish Mathrubootham, Founder and CEO, Freshworks
Some of the critical learnings from the sessions were:
- Happy customers are the foundation of a successful business
- It is important to keep up with the evolving software-as-a-service (SaaS) landscape
- Scaling the partner ecosystem is the key to riding the SaaS wave
Partners went back more aligned in their business values and goals, with the Freshworks outlook.
Unveiling the Freshworks ISV exhibition
Held for the first time at the partner conference, the ISV exhibition was aimed at harnessing maximum output from the synergy between our customer-facing teams and technology/ISV partners. Twelve key ISVs leveraged this unique opportunity by setting up booths in our office. In a span of eight hours, more than 350 Freshworks folks across sales, presales, and the customer success teams visited these booths.
“The Freshworks ISV exhibition was pretty awesome. It was an opportunity to get access to the different teams and understand what types of challenges they’re trying to solve for their customers. This gives us insight into how the integration and the partnership are being differentiated, and enables us to help them see how the integration can solve problems for their customers – which is ultimately our collective goal.”
– Josh Lowy, Co-founder and CEO, Hugo
This exhibition provided the right platform for partners to engage with our teams, showcase the value proposition of their apps, and also helped customer-facing teams learn more about how our technology partnerships contribute towards remarkable customer experience.
Knowledge sharing sessions with the experts
The high points at every partner conference are the sessions by product managers. These sessions provide visibility into the evolution of the products, giving partners a chance to influence the product vision with their market expertise.
“We have developed an integration between Freshdesk and Instagram that has just been released. This integration was very important for the business as many companies use Instagram to engage with their customers. Without help from the Freshworks marketplace team, this app release would not have been possible.”
– Marcus Landgren, CEO, Swedbyte
During the sessions, our product gurus talked about the importance of:
- Building a unified customer engagement platform
- Simplifying voice communications for teams of all sizes
- Focusing on customizations that facilitate personalized experiences
- Understanding the difference between account management and customer success
- Gearing up for the future of customer service
Featuring the Game of Deals
Orchestrated by our product experts, this hands-on G.O.D (game of deals) workshop kindled the competitive spirit in the partners.
Partners were showcasing their solution expertise while constantly trying to out-do each other at elevator pitches, rapid-fire rounds, and request for proposal (RFP) fillings. Held for over three hours across two days, this gamified workshop saw the winners dancing their way to the stage to collect their prizes!
Decoding the secret to collaboration — The partner culture code
For a rapidly growing partner program, it is imperative to lay the groundwork for smoother collaboration.
“We have created the Freshworks Partner Culture Code as a framework that fosters cohesion between our partners and us through shared values and beliefs, leading to aligned business goals.”
While some codes are an extension of our daily Freshworks way of working, these are the official codes from the Freshworks partner culture code:
- Be a customer champion
- Build a happy, transparent work environment
- Have a growth mindset
- Play as one team
- Practice craftsmanship
Oscar-style partner awards
Coupled with the red carpet welcome for our partners, we organized an awards ceremony to felicitate the top performers of 2018.
The categories ranged across technical excellence, customer experience, best salesperson, emerging sales star, implementation experts, and more. Few of the partners who bagged awards were Nearsoft, 3CX, Yannick Pirard from CYS Services, and Hai Dang from Info Fabrica. A special shoutout to Loupen and Swedbyte, who each won awards in three different categories.
“We’re going to be the best partner in the world! Being on the other side of the world in India, and being recognized for our efforts by Freshworks…the feeling is indescribable. We were anxious to do well in the award ceremony, and after winning so many awards, I think we did pretty great! I was emotional while receiving the awards, but at the same time inspired and already geared up for the next ceremony. We’ll be the ‘Best in the World’ next year, again!”
– Alexandre Schio, Director, Loupen Technologia
Closing on an all-time high
Apart from the agenda, there were numerous offline meetings, dinners, and breakaway sessions that encouraged partners to participate in cross-learning and networking.
Moving on to the fun bits, we were planning the conference around a fête theme and there was no dearth of ideas, such as hula-hoops, balloon shooting, and more. We followed this up with a classy networking dinner. There was food, wine, and some great music and entertainment. Talk about a perfect evening.
“This was my first Freshworks partner conference and it was amazing to witness the energy and enthusiasm in the room. It was truly a spectacular experience. The commitment of the partners and the ecosystem we have built is awe-inspiring. I am excited about the journey ahead.”
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the underlying emotion during the event was exhilaration, with just a pinch of the nerves. Now, how will we ever out-do ourselves next year? Well, we think it’s a good problem to have. It has only strengthened our resolve to deliver another showstopper in 2020!
If you are looking to join us at the next partner conference, sign up for the Freshworks Partner Program and #PartnerForLife.