Intelisys Weekly Roundup 8/28/14

Intelisys Weekly Roundup 8/28/14

What a huge couple of weeks! This Intelisys Weekly Roundup covers two weeks of comings and goings. Read on to find out what’s been keeping Intelisys busy …

Hale Comes to HQ

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Sales Partner Christopher Hall, president and founder of Hale Communications, traveled from St. Loius, MO, to Intelisys headquarters in Petaluma, CA, for a week of strategizing and socializing. He was joined by our South Central Region Senior Manager, Strategic Partner Development, Eddie Acosta. Great to see them both!

Putting Our Money Where Our Mouth Is

We’ve created a brand new, strategic role: VP, Supplier Sales. And Intelisys’ own Mike McKenney has been hand picked to take on the new role and the exciting challenge of creating and driving new revenue programs for our Supplier Partners.

Watch Mike McKenney talk about his new role and its expected impact on the Intelisys Partner community HERE.

Read what Evolve IP’s CTO Scott Kinka had to say to CRN about Mike’s new role HERE.

See coverage of Mike’s new role as VP, Supplier Sales, on Channel Partners Online HERE.

Here Comes Platinum

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August 24th was a BIG day for us at Intelisys. Why? Because it marked the first annual RDS Solutions Day! That’s right, RDS Solutions, a 10-year Sales Partner out of Clinton, N.J., has reached the incredible milestone of $1M in monthly recurring revenue to become our eighth Platinum Partner. Intelisys company President Jay Bradley joined Rick Ribas, VP, Partner Sales & Business Development, and Justin Marano, Director, Parter Sales – Northeast Region, to award RDS Solutions co-founders J.R. Vernick and Darren Jones with their Platinum trophy and a Trip for Two to Anywhere in the World. Darren and J.R. dedicated their award to their incredible team. Congratulations, RDS, from all of us at Intelisys!!

An article about RDS Solutions Day on CRN.com states, “Since its inception, RDS Solutions has been an Intelisys partner. Through this partnership, the company works with all the major telecommunications carriers that Intelisys has a relationship with, including AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink. RDS also has direct ties with the carriers they do the most business with, but prefers to work through Intelisys to avoid quotas that carriers often impose on partners, Vernick said.”

J.R. is further quoted as saying, “We don’t want to have to meet a number with a carrier because that changes your position of being unbiased and agnostic.”

Read the full article on CRN about how J.R. Vernick and Darren Jones achieved such a phenomenal feat, and what they have planned going forward, HERE.

Read more about the story from Channel Partners Online HERE.

View the official press release HERE.

Bend It Like Intelisys

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Intelisys hosted a Sales Partner event in beautiful Bend, OR, this week. We join Chad Arnold, Director, Partner Sales – Northwest/Mountain Region in saying thanks to the generous sponsorship of Time Warner Cable Business Class and Navisite for making the event possible.

Partners & Ponies Returns to Saratoga

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One of our hit annual events is Partners & Ponies out at the Saratoga Race Course in New York. This year’s event started with golf, carried over to a full round of education and training from key Supplier Sponsors BCN Telecom, Broadview Networks, CoreSite, Masergy, Matrix, NetWolves, Time Warner Cable Business Class, Navisite, and Windstream, and culminated at the horse races. Donna Cravotta, founder and CEO of Social Sage PR, presented the keynote on social media strategy for business.

Check out the full album of Partners & Ponies 2015 photos HERE.

Cloud Partners is Coming to Boston Soon!

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We’ll be in Boston September 16-18th for Cloud Partners, and we can’t wait! Once again, Intelisys will be hosting Cloud Summit Training – the industry’s most highly attended live cloud training. Last year’s session was standing room only! The 2015 Cloud Summit Training is filling fast. Be sure to register ahead of time to secure your spot. Training this year includes entirely new content, and we’ll be giving away $1000 cash!

Register for Intelisys Cloud Summit Training at Cloud Partners HERE.

Register for Cloud Partners Conference & Expo HERE. Use the code CLD15 to get a free expo hall pass or $50 off a full conference pass.

P.P.S. Be sure to keep up with us on TwitterFacebookYouTube & LinkedIn!

Intelisys Weekly Roundup 8/14/15

Intelisys Weekly Roundup

Welcome back to the Intelisys Weekly Roundup, our (mostly) weekly look at what has taken place in & around Intelisys over the past week. 

Happy Anniversary!

We got off to a celebratory start, with the 3rd annual Global Communications Group Day occurring on August 9th. GCG was our second Platinum Partner, achieving the status in 2012. Congratulations, again, on the phenomenal accomplishment!

It’s a New Dawn; It’s a New Day …

This week Mike McKenney took on an exciting new role here at Intelisys: VP, Supplier Sales. Formerly VP, Partner Sales & Business Development for the West Region, Mike is now focusing on creating and implementing new and exciting programs that will drive revenue for Supplier Partners and Sales Partners in the Intelisys community.  Mike has already started collaborating with our Supplier Partners on sales strategy in a wholly comprehensive way, committing serious sales acumen and resource to develop custom programs to drive mindshare, activity and accelerated results.

Watch Mike explain his new role here.

Welcome, RCC!

This week we were privileged to welcome Rachel McNeese, Founder & President of Richardson Communications, to our Petaluma HQ for three days. Rachel traveled from Texas, along with our Central Region VP, Partner Sales & Business Development, Brandon Smith, for meetings with every department at Intelisys and some fantastic idea sharing. We always love welcoming our Sales Partners to Petaluma. Thanks for being here, Rachel!

P.S. Happy Birthday to Courtney Morrow, East Sales Team Admin Coordinator Extraordinaire! 

P.P.S. Be sure to keep up with us on TwitterFacebookYouTube & LinkedIn

Weekly Roundup 8/7/15

 

Weekly Roundup 8/7/15

And, just like that, it’s August! We got off to a huge start, and had some really great interactions around the country with many Sales Partners, Supplier Partners and colleagues. Here’s what happened at Intelisys over the past week …

The Team that Plays Together Stays Together

 

We spent last Friday afternoon and evening taking a little time away from our desks and our phones, instead focusing on socializing and having fun. We work hard, and we love it; but everybody benefits from taking a step back every once in awhile. HQ got quiet when a large group of Intelisys colleagues headed north up the 101 to Francis Ford Coppola Winery for some fabulous wine tasting, snacks and friendly competition on the bocce ball courts. Meanwhile, our Connecticut team spent the afternoon at Hopkins Vineyard in the scenic hills of Litchfield County overlooking Lake Waramaug, sampling wine and playing croquet.  

Check out all the photos from these team events here.

Northern California Mindshare #MindshareSF

 

The 2015 Mindshare season has now come to a close. We wrapped up an incredible 11 Mindshares at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, home of the San Francisco 49ers. Our Sales Partner guests and Supplier Partner sponsors got comfortable in the 501 Club Room for a fantastic line up of training and interactive case studies. When the educational portion of the event came to a close, we were taken through the year-old stadium on guided technology tours, getting to see up-close and personal how this multi-award winning stadium has broken records and wowed fans the world over. The day ended with a Supplier Fair, prizes, a 49er scrimmage and fire works over the field. Thanks to all our Supplier Partner sponsors who made the event possible: 8×8, ANPI, Aryaka, AT&T, BCN Telecom, Comcast Business, Corvisa, EarthLink, Evolve IP, Granite, Level 3, Masergy, Matrix-IBS, PGi, QTS, Star2Star, Time Warner Cable Business Class, Navisite, UnitedLayer, Verizon, ViaWest and Vonage Business. 

See the full album of #MindshareSF photos here.

There’s No “I” in Team

 

Every quarter, the Intelisys team gathers to celebrate the accomplishments of our team members. We can nominate one another for cash awards as an official way to say thanks for job well done. Congratulations and much appreciation to Cable Team Supervisor Laurisa Landman and East Region Cloud Integration Specialist Ray Nelson on your Q2 awards!

See Laurisa and Ray accepting their awards here

Watching the Wheels Go ‘Round

 

We joined Supplier Partners Aryaka Networks and Nitel this week in Dallas for an awesome Partner event on the Buzz Bike, a 16-passenger, pedal powered, BYOB, mobile pub! Sales Partners in attendance included National Telesystems, CloudPoint, Technology Resource Center of America, FCS Communications and ABS Telecom. 

P.S. Be sure to keep up with us on TwitterFacebookYouTube & LinkedIn!

Weekly Roundup 7/31/15

 Intelisys Weekly Roundup 7/31/15

July is coming to a close, and it’s been a huge week! We celebrated the penultimate Mindshare of the 2015 season, and will be heading off this afternoon for some bi-coastal wine tasting and team building (more on that next week!). So, welcome back to the Weekly Roundup. Here’s what happened this week …

#MindsharePNW took Seattle by Storm

 

The Pacific Northwest Mindshare was a huge success in Seattle at SafeCo Field this week! Dozens of Sales Partners joined us and our Supplier Partner sponsors (8×8, BCN Telecom, Broadview Networks, CenturyLink, Comcast Business, CoreSite, Corvisa, Equinix, Fusion, Granite, Integra, Level 3, Matrix, PGi, ShoreTelSky, UnitedLayer, Verizon, ViaWest, Windstream and XO Communications) for some fabulous cloud and connectivity training, case studies, and networking. Afterward, we filled four suites to watch the Seattle Mariners take on the Arizona Diamondbacks.  

See the complete event photo album here.

Here, Fishy-Fishy!

 

The day after the Pacific Northwest Mindshare in Seattle, several Intelisys Partners ventured out into the Puget Sound to fish for wild Coho and pink salmon. Boat #1, sponsored by Matrix, brought in seven fish, while Boat #2, sponsored by Comcast Business, hauled in 11. Seattle’s All Star Fishing kept Scott Lee, Jay Bradley, Aaron Loehr, Riley Rettenmier, Ted Foster, Mark Prudell, Mike Tighe and Chad Arnold out of the water. Cody Calhoun, you were missed! 

Check out all the photos here.

2015 CRN Network Connectivity Services Partner Program Guide  

We’re honored to be part of CRN’s 2015 Network Connectivity Services Partner Program Guide this year! The annual PPG recognizes “service providers and technology vendors whose proven offerings provide the secure network connectivity solutions required by today’s digital marketplace.”

Read about Intelisys’ involvement here.

See the entire 2015 PPG here

Read our press release here.  

Speaking of Connectivity … 

Carol Beering, SVP of Sales Operations at Intelisys, was asked to comment on a CRN article this week that discusses changes being brought about by the convergence of the IT and telecom channels. 

“Telcos haven’t historically been the easiest companies to team up with for solution providers. Until recently, carriers were used to having all the control, but they’re coming around. That’s because channel partners, including VARs, systems integrators and solution providers, often have lower customer attrition rates than many carriers and vendors because end customers like working with a trusted partner.”

Read the rest of the article, and what Carol had to say, here

P.S. Happy Birthday to the ever-fabulous Israel Chavez, our West & Central Sales Team Admin Coordinator!

P.P.S. Be sure to keep up with us on TwitterFacebookYouTube & LinkedIn!

 

Intelisys Weekly Round Up 7/24/15

It’s Friday again! Welcome back to the Intelisys Weekly Roundup, our (mostly) weekly look at the week behind us. What did we get up to?

ViaWest’s Home Run

Supplier Partner ViaWest introduced their newest Regional Channel Manager, Cory Ruetzel, to the Houston community, by hosting a suite at Minute Maid Park to watch the Astros take on the Red Sox. Intelisys’ Senior Manager, Strategic Partner Development, Eddie Acosta was there, along with many Sales Partners, including Liquid Networx, Cumulus Telecom, Total Carrier Solutions, consultIP, MAS Telecom, BlueSky IT Partners, Simplified Communications Group, The Telephone Lady, and TeleSource Communications, Inc.

Verizon Creates Dramatic New Revenue Streams for Sales Partners

Verizon has opened thousands of previously restricted Medium and Enterprise accounts, meaning Intelisys Sales Partners can now contact existing Verizon customers to renew and upsell. This program is available through Verizon Platinum Partner Kingcom, which has named Intelisys as its Preferred Master Agent for this game changing compensation program.

Find out more about the program and read a case study on Richardson Communications, who are already pulling in revenue thanks to this program, here.

Read what CRN had to say about the program and its impact on the channel here.

LanYap Networks Visits Petaluma

Angie Tocco and Laura Dashney, co-founders of LanYap Networks, and Intelisys Platinum Partner, made the trip from their HQ in Arizona to ours in Petaluma, CA, this week. We’re always thrilled to see them!

Rick Dellar on Camera

We spent some time this week in the Intelisys video studio with co-founder Rick Dellar, discussing everything from his start at Cable & Wireless to exit strategies to how much money he and co-founder Rick Sheldon put into the very first Intelisys bank account. We’re hard at work editing this footage, and can’t wait to share insights, thoughts and musings from one of our founding owners. Stay tuned!

We’ll see you again next week!

In the meantime, be sure to keep up with us on TwitterFacebookYouTube & LinkedIn!

Weekly Round Up 7/17/15

Happy Friday, and welcome back to the Intelisys Weekly Roundup! We’ve had a busy couple of weeks. Let’s catch up …

 

Comcast Business in the House

We were visited at Petaluma HQ this week in Petaluma by some of the Comcast Business team. Lots of great strategy meetings, and some killer social media and content training and brainstorming with Kathy Hickey, Comcast Business’s Executive Director of Content Marketing. Kathy shared with us some of the strategies she employs when developing and sharing content with the Comcast Business Community. It sparked some great ideas for us, and ways we can help our Sales Partners to generate content, too. Stay tuned for a video we shot of Kathy and Andrew Pryfogle. We’ll be sure to let you know when that’s available!

#1 Tip for Keeping Sales from Stalling Before You Can Close Them …

…That was the topic of a LinkedIn article our SVP of Cloud Transformation Andrew Pryfogle wrote this week. It’s quick, smart and actionable.

Read Andrew’s top sales tip here.

CLOUD-LIVE! Episode 4 (2015) is Coming Soon

Our video team is hard at work on the next episode of CLOUD LIVE! More real life case studies, a Platinum Partner profile, Ray’s Revelations, Bob’s Beat and more is being filmed and edited as we speak. If you’ve got any Cloud questions, we’d love to hear them! Cloud sales, technical, how to handle objections, where to find opportunities … you name it, we want to answer it in the Mail Bag segment. Email your question to support@cloudservicesuniversity.com and you might just find it answered in the next episode of CLOUD LIVE!

iCSU is Helping Channel Pros Sell Cloud-Based UC Services

CRN spoke to a few Sales Partners about the UCaaS certification recently released through Intelisys Cloud Services University, and discovered that the certifications are "already helping solution providers sell—and better understand—cloud-based UC services".

Read the entire article here.

Club TPC Says Aloha

The annual Club TPC Trip will land in Puerto Vallarta next January, but that hasn’t stopped us from looking ahead to the January after that. Carol and Christina put in the hard yards this week on a site scout for the 2016 Club TPC Trip. Lucky ladies!

An Investigation into Physical Security – Is it a Carrier Differentiator?

Underground fiber-optic cables were cut (again) most recently in Northern California, bringing physical threats to the forefront. Let’s face it, it’s usually virtual attacks that get the most coverage and take the most attention, but when a business loses its Internet connection, it doesn’t care whether the resulting revenue loss stems from a physical or virtual attack.

There have been 11 recent carrier network outages as a result of these physical attacks along the West Coast, calling into question the attention given by carriers to this area of security within their networks.

CRN’s Senior Associate Editor – Telecom, Gina Narcisi, looked into the attacks from the point of view of the telco agent or VAR, concluding that the attacks are "opening the door for providers to review their own physical security measures to avoid learning the hard way, and even tout it as a differentiator for customers".

Read the original CRN article here.

Read CRN’s follow-up article here.

See you next week!

P.S. Be sure to keep up with us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn!

P.P.S. Happy Birthday to our wonderful Director of Partner Support Services, Samantha Zuniga-Juarez!!! 

Weekly Roundup 7/2/15

Welcome back! This week is a double recap, as we didn’t post last Friday. Why? We were too busy having a blast, planning, strategizing and enjoying each other’s company at Intelipalooza X. Read on … 

Intelipalooza X

Twice a year, the Intelisys owners, executive team, sales teams and key support staff (including operations and marketing) head to the Wine Country of California for a few days of intensive planning, measuring and collaborating. It’s said after every Intelipalooza, but this time it’s really true: Intelipalooza X was the best one yet! We were invigorated, motivated and inspired. And we left with a solidified, common purpose: supporting our Sales Partners and helping them achieve HUGE goals. Everything we do is in support of our Partner Community, and 2015 is shaping up to be a year full of tremendous milestones.

To see all the photos from Intelipalooza X, click here.

Intelisys Cloud Services University Registers 1,000th Channel Sales Professional

You’ll remember in the last blog that we announced the launch of the UCaaS Solutions Professional certification track through Intelisys Cloud Services University (iCSU). Not long after, iCSU hit a major milestone – our 1,000 student registered for a certification course. Telco agents, VARs, MSPs, IT Service Providers – they’re telling us the same thing: iCSU is helping them in conversations with their clients; it’s helping them train staff and build stronger sales teams; it’s helping land deals; helping build confidence; and the platform and delivery are effective and easy to follow. We’re getting the feedback, and we’re seeing the evidence as registrations continue to accelerate. We couldn’t be more excited to be part of this groundswell of upskilling in the Channel, and we are really looking forward to launching three more certification tracks before the end of the year. All certification tracks are self-paced and complimentary at this time.

Register for iCSU and get started on your Telecom, Cloud or UCaaS certification here.

Read what Channel Partners Online had to say about it here.

Celebrating 5 Years

 

On Monday, we celebrated 5-year anniversaries for three Intelisys employees: Rick Ribas, Rowena Galisano and Meghan Magnasco. Rowena was able to get her congrats (and hugs) straight from Jay Bradley and Michael Ketchum at HQ in Petaluma. Meghan, who is currently on maternity leave, popped in later in the week for a high five on her accomplishment from Carol Beering. Well wishes and thank yous were sent to Rick Ribas on the east coast!

LAM visits Petaluma

This week were delighted to welcome Link Moore and Jim Suss, our valued Sales Partners from LAM Technology, out of Forth Worth, Texas. They spent time with every department here at our Petaluma headquarters, opened up about their business, shared great stories, and got to see first-hand how we really operate at Intelisys. Here they are getting a tour of our video production studio by co-founder Rick Dellar and our video whiz Andrew Shaw.

Channel Connect 2015 is coming!

This week marked the official launch of Channel Connect 2015, when registration opened to Sales Partners and Club TPC members. Channel Connect will return to Napa, California, in October, for an amazing lineup of events, including our Partner Awards Dinner, with a special keynote address from football legend and Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana.

Find out more about Channel Connect here.

See you next week!

P.S. Be sure to keep up with us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn!

Intelisys Weekly Roundup 6/19/15

Intelisys Weekly Roundup

Welcome back to our (mostly) weekly blog article dedicated to the current happenings in and around Intelisys!

UCaaS Certification Comes to Intelisys Cloud Services University

The 3rd certification track from Intelisys Cloud Services University is now live! UCaaS Solutions Professional certification is available via the iCSU self-paced, online classroom. This education track deep dives into Cloud, exposing hidden opportunities for UCaaS experts, such as Contact Centers. Unified Communications is where the next gen phone system is headed, and the as-a-Service model is where big wins are being made. Why get UCaaS Solutions Professional certified through iCSU? Because you’ll gain the knowledge you need to break into the lucrative Contact Center space and see how big data and multi-channel is changing the way Contact Centers are being built. Capture this valuable knowledge and start closing monster UCaaS deals in the cloud.

Find out more about iCSU UCaaS certification here.

Bandwidth: The New Frontier of Cloud Computing

Intelisys made the news again this week when SVP Cloud Transformation Andrew Pryfogle was quoted by ZDNet journalist Drew Turney in an article on NaaS that explores how software, platforms, infrastructure, and storage are all being relegated to cloud services as hybrid takes over; and how networking is becoming a service commodity along with them.

Read Andrew’s comments, and the full article, here.

Sales Partners Come out in Force at Foxwoods

  

More than 70 Sales Partners joined Intelisys and event sponsors Broadview Networks, Comcast Business, CoreSite, Frontier Networks, Masergy, Matrix and Windstream at Lake of Isles golf course and the famous Foxwoods Resort this week for a perfect Cloud training, golf and networking event. Big thanks to everyone who made it out on the day!

View pictures of the New England Partner Exchange at Lake of Isles at Foxwoods here.

Topgolf Alexandria Partner Exchange

Another Partner Exchange event hit Virginia this week, when Sales Partners joined Intelisys and event sponsors Aryaka Networks, Broadview Networks, Comcast Business, inContact, RapidScale, Verizon and Kingcom at Topgolf Alexandria. Cloud and Connectivity panels provided the educational backdrop to a fantastic social event.

You can view pictures of the Mid-Atlantic Partner Exchange here.

CLOUD LIVE! is Back with a New Episode

CLOUD LIVE! returns to iCSU with a new episode (Episode 3). Once again, CLOUD LIVE! gives you access to creative and helpful Cloud-related video content in 9 mix-n-match Segments. in Episode 3, you’ll find out how LanYap Networks achieved Platinum status in under three years, how Vonage’s acquisition of SimpleSignal is affecting the channel, easy wins in Help Desk, how to tackle awesome opportunities in Contact Centers, and much more.

Don’t miss CLOUD LIVE! Episode 3. You can watch it here.

To learn more, contact your Channel Manager.

See you next week!

P.S. Be sure to keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn! 

Intelisys Weekly Roundup 6/12/15

 Intelisys Weekly Roundup

This week marks the beginning of a new tradition – a (mostly) weekly blog article dedicated to the current happenings in and around Intelisys.

Celebrating Carol Beering

We’re going to stretch the rules and first look back to last week, when Carol Beering, Intelisys’ incomparable Senior VP, Sales Operations, was named to the CRN Women of the Channel 2015 list. We spoke to Jenny Izzo, Director, Executive Operations, for Platinum Partner Subsidium Technologies, who Carol has been mentoring this year, for a little insight into what sets Carol apart.

"Carol has really pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and face things from a new and different perspective – as a supervisor with a stake in the business, instead of an employee focused on the day-to-day," Izzo told us.

Read the rest of what Jenny had to say here.

 

5 Ways to Stand Out in the B2B Sales Industry

Intelisys made the news this week when South Central Region Channel Manager Eddie Acosta was quoted by examiner.com as an expert source on B2B Sales. In the article, "Attracting Your Tribe: 5 Ways to Stand Out in the B2B Sales Industry", Eddie weighed in on what it takes to keep customers coming back. Read Eddie’s advice, and the full article, here.

The Mindshares Hit SoCal!

This week the Intelisys Mindshares landed in San Diego and Marina del Rey (L.A.). Fun, sun, Cloud, connectivity, UCaaS, Networking & Infrastructure … and harbor cruises. Thanks to our wonderful Supplier Partners for making these events possible!

In San Diego we were joined by Supplier Partners 8×8, Jive, NaviSite, Corvisa, ANPI, Rapid Scale and Aryaka Networks.

In Marina del Rey (L.A.) were joined by Supplier Partners Broadview Networks, Coresite, Masergy, Matrix, ShoreTelSky, SimpleSignal, United Layer, ViaWest and Verizon.

View pictures of both Mindshare events here.

          

 

Partner Exchange Events Have Begun!

This week also marked the start of Partner Exchange season – a lineup of fantastic, smaller events that connect Sales Partners with information, training and networking at various locations around the county.

First, Channel Manager Karla Roarty and VP Partner Sales & Business Development Rick Ribas led the Southeast Partner Exchange at Old Car Heaven in Birmingham, AL. Classic cars, cocktails and Cloud. What could be better? Much appreciation goes to ACC Business, Bright House Networks, BullsEye Telecom, Earthlink, Windstream and WOW! Business for sponsoring the Partner Exchange!

You can view pictures of the event here.

Then, the Northeast Partner Exchange kicked off in New York at the Woodcliff Hotel & Spa, followed by a wine tasting tour at Seneca Lake. Thanks to IntelePeer, Time Warner Cable / NaviSite, Frontier, Lightower and Vonage Business for sponsoring this awesome event!

RCN & Intelisys Get Cozy

Supplier Partner RCN launched a Channel Program earlier this year, and this week officially announced that Intelisys is part of its agent program, which is designed to provide select national and regional telecom agents and systems integrators with the resources and support to sell RCN’s portfolio of IP-based data and voice communications services to enterprise and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Read more about the announcement here.

To learn more, contact your Channel Manager.

See you next week!

P.S. Be sure to keep up with us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn!

4 Reasons Why Customer Support is the New Cloud Battleground

Juggernaut Cloud platforms like AWS, Azure and Google are certainly gaining tremendous traction and flexing big muscle in the current Cloud marketplace, lending further evidence that adoption is accelerating and there is a lot of money to be made.

AWS released numbers in April, for instance, showing that despite having dropped prices 48 times since its inception, it successfully generated some $265 million in profits in the first three months of 2015. Similarly, Microsoft is also demonstrating strong growth in Cloud. Commercial Cloud revenue for Microsoft recently experienced its sixth consecutive quarter of three-figure growth, due to the success of Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics CRM. This growth is so significant that players like HP and Rackspace may already be waiving the white flag on public Cloud and hunkering down with their private/hybrid Cloud strategies.

Beating these guys on price—and joining a race to zero—doesn’t make sense.  

So is the war over for the rest of us, or has the field of battle simply shifted?

recent article published by CRN provides yet more evidence that while competing with these guys on price is foolish, differentiating on the customer support experience is the key to winning

And with that, here are 4 reasons why customer support could be your answer to winning your unfair share of Cloud business: 

1. The big public Cloud players are pure DIY (Do-It-Yourself) platforms by design. This is perfect for some things and for some people, but not for everything. Knowing where DIY is sufficient and where White Glove Support is required is key. 

2. There should be no expectation of excellent customer support from the big, public Cloud providers; and if there is, the customer is set up for major disappointment. AWS and Microsoft simply aren’t going to provide the support many customers demand. That’s not their model; and that’s ok.

3. Technology breaks. It always has and it always will. The question is: What will the customer do when that happens? Who will they call? What will a disruption cost them? Help your customer determine what their outage tolerance is by app, which brings me to Reason Number 4 … 

4. Not all apps are created equal. There are many apps that belong in public clouds where they can breathe. Test/dev apps that need to scale up and down quickly are a great example. And, if there are temporary interruptions in performance or availability, it’s not a catastrophe. However, mission critical apps (or as the customer in the aforementioned CRN article classifies “core business apps”) can’t afford to be down for minutes or hours or, God forbid, nine days. 

I’m seeing many Cloud Service Providers find big success by focusing on the critical customer support difference. It is a strategy that freely embraces the importance and utility of the big public Cloud platforms, while at the same time carving out rich recurring revenue solutions that are exceeding the expectations of demanding Cloud customers.   

United LayerEvolve IPServerCentral, and Windstream are all great examples of companies winning on this new battlefield. Many are even delivering solutions that are seamlessly integrated over private high-speed interconnections to the big public platforms – an ideal hybrid approach where the right workloads are in the right Cloud, with the right customer support wrapped around it. 

That’s a battle worth fighting and a battle you can win. 

Good selling.

 

Andrew Pryfogle, Senior VP, Cloud Transformation, Intelisys