Channel Partners

SPR 2015

For 25 years, Channel Partners has been a resource for indirect sales channels, such as agents, VARs and dealers, that provide network-based communications and computing services, associated CPE and applications, and managed and professional services

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and outsourcing the processing of less profitable unit-sales based categories such as IT hardware and software." C POINT C: GET REAL. "Know your own limitations. We had to quickly make a decision to hire, learn or seek outside expertise. We chose to partner, and as a result we continue to prosper," said LanYap's Tocco. D POINT D: GET SMART. Stop focusing on marketing. Instead, become a domain expert, said Don Douglas, CEO of Liquid Networx. One of his peers, Burstorm, does this by zeroing in on computer-aided design for its customers. This method lets Burstorm design and build plat- forms across suppliers, while analyzing, normalizing, bench- marking and comparing products and services based on specific constraints and objectives. "It's time for partners to shed the legacy process and offer real insight by delivering comprehensive solutions only achieved through modern design tools and automation," said Brandon Abbey, CEO of Burstorm. Meantime, for Douglas, there's one more aspect to consider — too few partners conduct R&D, he said. Instead, they concentrate on profits, limiting their possibilities because they stay trained on one course of action, rather than inno- vating even as they sell. E POINT E: GET GOING. "You may get so caught up on being perfect before you launch that you never launch," said Sales Enabled's Rosen. "Depending on the complexity of your new service or set of services, it may be smart to dive in headfirst, building and refining processes along the way. What's critically important is defining success, managing your risks (including your reputation), doing no harm to your customers, measuring success and finally being adaptable to change — recognizing that when something isn't working — adjusting quickly." Take all of that advice and start charting the all-important course from specialist to holistic expert. That's not to say you won't encounter choppy waters or unexpected doldrums — you will. It is to say that the journey will pay off. Kelly Teal is senior editor of Channel Partners. @kellymteal Partners who won't adapt won't be able to guide clients through complex technology decisions or implementations and will lose part or all of those customers' business. 24 CHANNEL PARTNERS SPRING 2015 FEATURE Dave Halpin Carrier Services Division Manager - NACS Black Box Network Services "I incorporate the TCA CTP program as a focal point of our onboarding process for my team at Black Box Network Services. The CTP program is the best certifcation program available which covers the key technology components we sell and support in our channel. It is a great program for onboarding both new sales and support personnel as well as providing an avenue for existing team members to stay on top of our rapidly changing industry. I highly recommend that all partners in our industry look at the CTP certifcation program for their employees as it will continue to elevate the indirect channel." Learn more at TCA's booth at Channel Partners!

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