CLOUD LIVE! Happenings

The "unofficial" official agenda for CLOUD LIVE!  has been released.  We’ve got a really great set of speakers and participants joining us on Thursday, August 14, so if you haven’t signed up already, you can do so right here.

8:30 – 9 a.m.: Keynote


9:30 – 10:30 a.m.: Panel 1: The Cloud Eco-System

MegaPath  RapidScale  simplesignal  windstream

  More and more cloud solutions require multiple parties.  Platform vendors, software vendors, hardware vendors, integration partners…all needing to come together to deliver a complete and seamless solution to the customer.  What role does the sales partner play in this?  Is there a need for a Cloud GC (general contractor) that quarterbacks the deal, that marshals all the necessary parties?  What are the dangers/pitfalls of that approach and how do you avoid them?  Is this danger or differentiator?


11:00 – 12:00 p.m.: Panel 2: Having the Cloud Business Conversation  

ShoreTel  Star2Star  tw telecom  XO

  Cloud can be a very technical sale and having the technical prowess is key.  However, too often we overlook the critical business drivers that are behind the Cloud decision.  Being able to position the right business outcomes with C-level executives can separate you from other technical sales people who are pigeon-holed in the world of bits and bytes.  You can lead a horse to water AND you can make him drink…if you know the right levers to pull.  In this panel, we’ll discuss the hidden conversations that must be had with senior executives in order for any Cloud transition to get traction.


12:30 – 1:30 p.m.: Panel 3: Voice to Compute

CallTower  EVOLVE IP  Matrix  simplesignal

  Many sales partners are very comfortable with the voice conversation, whether it be legacy telco or next gen SIP or Hosted IP.  We know the decision makers involved and the issues driving deals forward.  We’re comfortable with the TCO arguments and the overall financial model.  However, moving from this conversation to compute can be dicey.  The vocabulary is different.  The decision makers/influencers may change.  The selling process changes as I may need to engage supplier resources earlier and rely on them more heavily.  Does the pivot require a different skill set?  Do I learn it, or partner for it?  Moving from voice to compute can blow open opportunities, but can also blow up deals.  How do you do the former without the latter?


2:00 – 3:00 p.m.: Panel 4: Vertical Selling: Healthcare, Finance, and Hyper Growth Companies

inContact  IntelePeer  Jive  Level 3  Masergy

  The better you can speak someone’s language, the more likely they’ll assume you know how to solve their problems.  Vertical selling is all about knowing the common issues, priorities, and drivers behind technology decisions.  Whether it be knowing how to speak to senior level executives in regulation-rich verticals like healthcare and finance, or understanding what is driving hyper growth companies and the unique challenges they face, there are common and predictable patterns you can leverage.  In this session, we’ll discuss exactly the terminology, technology, objections and drivers that will help you win time and time again.

New and Innovative Opportunities

J.R. CookJ.R. Cook, the former Channel Chief for EarthLink Business and New Edge Networks and Vice President for TelePacific Communications, has joined Intelisys as the new Senior Vice President, Business Development. 

“This is a critical role at a critical time for Intelisys, and J.R. is absolutely the right person for the assignment,” said Jay Bradley, Intelisys President. “J.R. brings the knowledge and experience to really understand the strategic challenges of growth and transformation in the indirect channel, and he will inspire new ideas to help our partners grow,” Bradley added. “We are thrilled to have him.”

For more, click here.

Intelisys Announces Hire of Director of Marketing

Brian Leonard HeadshotWe’re excited to announce today the hiring of Brian Leonard, Intelisys’ new Director of Marketing.  Leonard comes to Intelisys from Mojo Marketing, the only full services marketing company focused exclusively on telecom, cloud and IT businesses.

“I’ve worked with Intelisys since 2010 and have always been impressed with the team’s consistent commitment to their Sales Partners,” said Leonard. “There’s a common ‘golden thread’ of service and integrity that weaves through this company and I’m excited and humbled to now be a part of it.”

Click here to find out more.

Getting Smarter in the Cloud with MegaPath (Video)

 

Andrew Pryfogle sat down with Matt Hutchinson, the Channel Chief for MegaPath, recently to discuss everything from what’s new at MegaPath, channel convergence, and what sort of advice Matt has for telecom agents and consultative MSPs and VARs. 

CLOUD LIVE! Virtual Event – March 20

CloudLive! banner

 

Intelisys’ first virtual event for CLOUD LIVE! in 2014 is coming up quickly.  Have you marked your calendars for March 20?  This is an event not to be missed!

8:00 a.m.:  CLOUD LIVE! Opens

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.:  Keynote from Andrew Pryfogle

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.:  Visit the Supplier Microsites

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.:  Panel 1:  LIVE VIDEO – Strategic IT Mapping in Practice

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.:  Visit the Supplier Microsites

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.:  Panel 2:  LIVE VIDEO – The Anatomy of a Cloud Contact Center Deal

12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.:  Visit the Supplier Microsites

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.:  Panel 3:  LIVE AUDIO - Real Cloud Wins

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.:  Visit the Supplier Microsites

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.:  Panel 4:  LIVE VIDEO – Where Cloud and Network Meet

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.:  Visit the Supplier Microsites

3:30 p.m.:  Event Closes

 

If you can’t make it to The Destination for Conversation on Convergence, check out our calendar for other exciting 2014 events!

Andrew Pryfogle’s 5 Things to Get Smart About in 2014

Cloud Trends 2014

Headed into 2014, I’ve been asked what the key areas are that people need to get smarter about to be successful selling Cloud in the new year. Even after several years of buzz and progress, there remains a tremendous amount of confusion around Cloud. Trusted advisors who understand how to apply Cloud technologies to solve real business problems are at a true premium. Those who invest in getting smarter about Cloud are going to be the big winners next year. But with so much noise around all things Cloud, where is the right place to start?  What technologies should you explore more deeply now to set yourself up for big success in 2014?  

Here are my top 5.

#1:  Desktop as a Service (DaaS)

I recently posed the question, “Is DaaS the next hosted VoIP?” There are certainly compelling parallels between the adoption of these technologies.  Hosted VoIP (voice-over IP) was a big idea with lots of promise for a long time before it went mainstream. When that happened, the pricing was all over the board. The delivery and customer experience was inconsistent. The total cost of ownership argument was unpredictable. Since then, though, those issues have worked themselves out, and hosted VoIP has won its following. Companies of all sizes are adopting it as their go-to telephony and UC (unified communications) solution.  

DaaS is on the same path but perhaps at an even more accelerated pace.  Just this year, we’ve seen a big shift from lots of quotes to lots of closes.  The lookers are now buyers as they recognize the enormous business problems that DaaS can solve.  Pricing has stabilized, and a growing list of providers are delivering excellent customer experiences, including Evolve IP, Matrix, RapidScale, and Navisite—to name a few. I’m convinced that 2014 will mark the year DaaS will go mainstream. Those who get smart on DaaS will stand to reap big financial rewards.

 

#2:  Cloud-Enabled Colo

More and more customers are recognizing that it makes more sense to park their infrastructure in someone else’s closet instead of their own.  Cloud is becoming a popular destination for that infrastructure but rarely is it a pure play Cloud solution. In fact, the demand for colocation is on the rise, and customers are now seeking colo solutions that can serve as a bridge into their overall Cloud strategy.  It’s not just space and power that matter, but locating data centers that are easily connected with Cloud assets:  big pipes, scalable bandwidth on demand, and low-latency peering with public and private Cloud providers. Server Central, Savvis and Internap are at the forefront of this conversation. Cloud-enabled colo will repeatedly ring the cash register for forward-thinking sales partners in 2014.

 

#3:  Cloud Contact Centers

You may have heard me say in the past that contact centers simply belong in the Cloud.  I still believe that, and, in fact, nearly every contact center developer and manufacturer has embraced that thinking. The good news is that most contact centers haven’t made the move yet, and many will be evaluating the Cloud as an alternate destination in the coming year.  

The other exciting trend is the number of companies embracing Cloud contact center solutions that, previously, never actually managed a traditional call center environment.  Companies are learning that driving analytics and intelligence to their sales and customer support people can drive big efficiencies and bigger revenue.  There is gold to be mined in every customer touch, and Cloud contact center solutions are a fantastic way to do just that. We’re winning big, complex deals on the high-end with the likes of inContact and LiveOps. Suppliers like iCore and Evolve IP are grabbing attention with really disruptive pricing.

Learn to have the conversation: it could be a game changer for you in 2014.

 

#4:  Video as a Service (VaaS)

I’m convinced this will finally be the year when VaaS breaks out. The value of video conferencing can’t be argued, and with the explosion in mobility, video adoption is finally accelerating.  Web RTC will throw gas on that fire, and Cloud is making video accessible to the masses. I love the innovative solutions that Simple Signal and Arkadin are doing in this exciting space.

At Intelisys, we’re embracing VaaS for our own use, and it’s changing the way we communicate. With a distributed workforce, there is no better way for a team to stay connected.  Strategy is clearer, decisions are better, and your competitive edge is sharper.  If you want to win more VaaS deals, use it yourself.  Use it in your offices, with your remote employees, on your tablet, on your smart phone, and with your customers.  It will change your business and will drive more revenue through the front door.

 

#5:  Selling is Dead: The Evolution of Solution Selling

I read a book this year called The Challenger Sale – Taking Control of the Customer Conversation.  It’s the best book I’ve read recently on the subject of solution selling. The bottom line is this: Cloud demands a different sales approach. Customers are swimming in a sea of confusion and desperately need help navigating those waters. The conversation starts and finishes in the C-level suite, and it requires expert and provocative thinking that challenges the traditional IT point of view. Selling professionals who want to crush their cloud numbers in 2014 will need to work on their solution-selling craft more than ever. It is exactly where the battle will be fought and won.

 

There you have it: my top 5 picks of where you should get smart in 2014. Seventy-five percent of our Cloud wins in 2013 came from those who invested time in attending our Cloud Services University workshops. Get smart on Cloud; win big Cloud deals. We’re here to help.

Good selling.  

 

Andrew Pryfogle

SVP, Cloud Services & Complex Bids