A Lesson in Leadership from Channel Connect

Chuck MacheThings are finally wrapped up from Channel Connect and so now we’re taking the time to sit down and catch up on all the action from last week’s event.

Channel Partners reported on some great advice Chuck Mache shared with attendees of the event.

“When I speak with principals and every word is ‘I, I, I’ I know that’s a company headed in the wrong direction."

Mache stressed the importance of building a strong, reliable team.  He also advised managers to take the emotion out of the equation.  The focus needs to be in building the best team possible, keeping that team running at optimal level, and making sure they know you appreciate what they’re doing.

There’s a lot more to this story–including anecdotes and advice from SOLUS Network Solutions, LanYap Networks, among others–so click here to read more on Chuck Mache’s lesson in leadership.

Evolve IP’s Scott Kinka Responds to the Latest USA Today Article

USA Today recently published research showing that 43% of companies have had a data breach.  

Scott KinkaMy response?

It’s an interesting article.   Unfortunately, the only actual "reason" mentioned in here is human capital.  Front door attacks are designed to fool end users into giving away the keys to the kingdom.  And even more unfortunate, is that there is little that we can do on the network security side to ensure that people aren’t fooled.

Many people try to migrate to the cloud rather than start fresh there, which perpetuates many of the hidden dangers of their previous architecture.  That’s certainly one thing to leverage.  But if you look at this article, it accounts for at most 20% of the breaches.  The remainder are employee negligence… Could they have put IT department negligence in here?   Possibly, but it doesn’t gel with the point of the rest of the article.

I think the second thing to think about is that resources used in the cloud are easily provisioned, easily torn down and don’t reside on local equipment, so, at the very least, it eliminates or reduces the human element of leaving a laptop behind, physical security of a data center, not locking a local desktop, etc. This is all also happening in an era where BYOD is becoming the norm. If someone doesn’t have a password on their iPad, they receive an email with customer information, and someone picks it up at Starbucks, is the company to blame?  Or the employee? Or both?  Which leads to Mobile Device Management…

MDM is going to start to drive the discussion in the next few years.  Again, you can’t stop people from being purposefully negligent, but you can prevent them from being careless.   No password on your iPad, no access to corporate data.   Remove your password, wipe all corporate content or the whole device.   You also have to consider what applications the business allows for use on these devices for IM, social media, etc., which are now increasingly becoming targets for phishing attacks.

Another topic that has been around forever is DLP (Data Leak Protection).  People really haven’t understood what it is and how to use it, but with these numbers swinging so dramatically towards people as the cause of breaches, companies with compliance concerns will be forced to consider a stance on DLP.  There are simple solutions that can be added to email servers and other data "exit" points that are not difficult, and can live in the cloud.

Most importantly, it’s education. Companies are just not taking the people element seriously enough. Companies with compliance risk will need to have cyber education programs for employees to identify and understand how hackers are trying to leverage them as a security breach.  I fully expect that governance around corporate education may find its way into HIPAA and PCI regulations in the next few years.

How can we leverage all of this?  We have to deal with these kinds of issues every day. And while we all may not have easy to buy services yet for all of these items (although several will be released this quarter), we’re watching and are ahead of where our customers can be. That makes Evolve IP, and our partners, the kind of trusted advisor that customers should lean on for advice in navigating their security concerns.

Guest blog contributor Scott Kinka is the Chief Technology Office of Evolve IP.

A 16-Year Cloud Expert’s Response to USA Today on Cloud Security Breaches

USA Today recently published research showing that 43% of companies have had a data breach. 

Neely LoringMy first response is really the question "Why"?  We have two converging realities that help create a monster number like that.  We are in an era of corporate rebuilding. Companies reduced IT staff over the last five years significantly, equipment was not replaced or not maintained (in part because the smartest people weren’t there to do it) and best practices have changed/shifted and companies have not kept up.  It’s the "don’t fix something that’s not broken" mentality.  

This is dumb when it comes to IT because best practices change more rapidly than the technology itself.  The thought here is that there is exposure from simply the lack of attention to one’s own infrastructure and the methods and processes that are in place. Additionally, hackers worldwide have gotten more organized, smarter, and have built toolsets that now have a high level of maturity to help find breach points and specific targets.

In the spirit of the best offense is a great defense:  A move to cloud-based services enables customers to get a "redo".  The entire environment is greenfield, no more patching or updating configurations that go back ten years, and the people that build the system are so long gone that the "rigs" that were put in place to make it work years ago just sit there.  Companies don’t overhaul their existing network and IT infrastructure because they really can’t; time, money, downtime, expertise. It’s just won’t get done.

The way we leverage this data to our partners is to make it clear that a complete rebuild of the entire IT infrastructure can only be done in parallel.  And a complete rebuild is the only way to be sure that you have best practices.  Cloud based technology eliminates many of the above barriers.  Arguably, it is possible to rebuild in-house but is cost prohibitive and just won’t be a priority with an in-house IT staff that is most interested in protecting their seat at the grown up table.  

Guest blog contributor Neely Loring is President and COO of Matrix-IBS.

 

There’s Still Time

Meritage Resort and SpaThere’s plenty to look forward to this year at the 2014 Channel Connect event!  We’ll be at the luxurious Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, California from Wednesday, October 8 to Friday, October 10.  Come join us for networking, learning and fun!

There is still time to register, so sign up today and come be with the best of the best in the industry!

Wednesday
Join us for the first day of our Education Tracks. You will hear from Technology Leaders, Sales Partners, and Supplier Partners. Learn how the Cloud is changing everything, and so much more.

You don’t want to miss out on our new feature this year; the “Solution Design Throwdown”. Come see us put our suppliers through their paces in this live application of solution design on the fly. And don’t forget to vote for your favorite supplier Quickfire.  Who will take home the Sparky Award for Channel Connect 2014?

Thursday
The second day of our Education Tracks includes two more Solution Design Throwdowns, more Quickfires, a Keynote presentation from Chuck Mache, more Supplier Panels, a Channel Manager panel and our ever popular Channel Chief Panel.

Following the Education Tracks, join us for the Supplier Dash. You may pre-schedule 10-minute meetings with our Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Suppliers of your choosing. The end of the day will bring you the anxiously anticipated Awards Dinner, recognizing Intelisys Top Producers. Wrap the night up with our late night party with the band Tainted Love.

Friday
Choose from spa services, winery excursions, Napa Valley bike tour, the golf tournament at Eagle Vine golf course, and more. After your fun day concludes, relax and enjoy a casual dining experience, featuring Andrew Pryfogle’s Tri-Tip Trolley! Rock out to the tunes of Michael Toast!

There’s so much to look forward in just a couple weeks and we can’t wait to see you all very soon! Register today!

LiveOps and the Customer Lifetime Value

Vasili Triant, CEO of LiveOps, recently sat down with Andrew Pryfogle to discuss their exciting new partnership with Intelisys and what unique offerings LiveOps brings to the table.  Packed with great information as well as sales tips, this video interview should definitely go on your “must watch” list.

Here are some highlights from their chat:

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

LiveOps outsources most of their call center services to 20,000 independent contractors–a BPO which is now available for Channel Partners to leverage.

Selling the Contact Center

Sales Partners are mainly going to be targeting the VPs of customer experience, sales, and/or contact centers.  Who are the perfect end users? Businesses with more than 100 employees, customer support services, and a global expanse where an on-premise solution just won’t work.

Customer Lifetime Value

Everything Triant and LiveOps aims to do is bring that positive customer experience to customers.  Every. Single. Time.

Why the Channel?

Triant’s goal is to move LiveOps to a 100% Channel sales operation.  He knows that the Channel will help LiveOps grow their reach while helping Partners grow their business.

Predictable Routing

This is the new wave of technology to come out of LiveOps, and what is its end goal?  An effortless customer experience for businesses.

Make sure to watch the video for more information on how you can make LiveOps a part of your service offering and add massive value to your current customer base.

For more information on Vasili Triant and what LiveOps is bringing to their new partnership with Intelisys, watch the video above or click here.

Connecting with the Channel in October

Channel Connect banner

While we’re sad that Cloud Partners is over already, we’re really excited that our next big event is just around the corner:  Channel Connect.

Our top-producing Sales Partners and a number of our Supplier Partners will be connecting at this year’s event being held at the Meritage Resort and Spa from October 8 to 10.

To register as a Sales Partner click here.
To reserve rooms at the Meritage Resort and Spa
click here.
For information  
click here.

This is a great event for anyone looking to get involved in the discussion around cloud and telecom, to make and nurture relationships, and take some time to enjoy a little of what Northern California has to offer!

Agenda
Wednesday Oct 8thMeritage Resort and Spa
8:00 am – 7:00 pm      Event Check In 
8:00 am – 9:30 am      Continental Breakfast
9:00 am – 3:30 pm      General Session
9:00 am – 3:30 pm      Diamond Supplier Meeting Rooms Open
11:30 am – 1:00 pm    Grab n Go Lunch
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm      Supplier Fair

Thursday Oct 9th
7:00 am -8:15 am      Supplier Briefing – Suppliers only
7:00 am – 9:00 am     Continental Breakfast
7:30 am – 5:30 pm     Event Check In
8:30 am – 3:30 pm     General Session
8:30 am – 3:30 pm     Diamond Supplier Meeting Rooms Open
10:00 am – 3:30 pm   Spouse Tour
11:30 am – 1:00 pm   Grab n Go Lunch
3:45 pm- 5:30 pm      Supplier Dash
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm     Cocktail Reception
7:30 pm – 10:00 pm   Dinner and Awards

Friday Oct 10th
8:00 am – 10:00 am   Breakfast
All Day Excursions- includes lunch

  • Napa Bike Tour
  • 3 Winery Tour
  • 2 Winery Tour
  • Farm to Table Tour
  • Culinary Institute of America Tour
  • Eagle Vines Golf
  • Spa Treatments- for Sales Partner and their guest only

6:00 pm – 9:00 pm    Casual Dinner featuring Andrew Pryfogle’s Tri-Tip Trolley

Intelisys Cloud Sales Workshop at Cloud Partners in New Orleans

Cloud Partners

We’d like to invite you to join us for our Intelisys Cloud Sales Workshop, along with a gathering of All-Star Cloud Experts to discuss what’s working (and what’s NOT) in the ever-changing world of Cloud Solutions. We’ll convene on Monday, September 8th, 2014 from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM CDT, Level 3, Room #346 at Morial Convention Center.

We are very excited about this year’s new addition to the Cloud Partners training agenda: the Cloud Solution Design “Throwdown.” We expect this will be very effective in engaging our partners and educating them about the different steps in complex bid and cloud deals. The goal is for them to see in action the value that Intelisys’ pre-sales engineering resources can bring along with how our suppliers perform discovery and design solutions.

Our Channel Partners cloud training fills up EVERY YEAR. You must register in order to hold a spot to receive this cutting-edge information and these useful tools. We encourage you to register right now to ensure you have a spot at Intelisys Cloud Training 2014.

Continental breakfast and lunch are included (plus a chance to win $1000 in cash)! The topics we’ll be covering are listed below and there is also a link to more details and registration.

We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!

INTELISYS CLOUD SALES TRAINING

  • Cloud Solution Design "Throwdown"
  • Mastering the Intelligent Network
  • Shifting from Voice to Compute
  • Politics of the Cloud
  • Channel Chief Mastermind Insights
  • Dissecting the Contact Center
  • The Evolving Cloud General Contractor

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND REGISTER!

 

Case Study: How the Cloud Replaced $1M of Equipment

Intelisys filmed this comprehensive case study with the assistance of the following:

Metrolina GreenhousesThomas Baird, IT Director of Metrolina Greenhouses (End User)

Inspire CommunicationsMike Hancock, Owner of Inspire Communications (Intelisys Sales Partner)

MatrixNeely Loring, President and Founder of Matrix (Intelisys Supplier Partner)

Thomas Baird recounts his experience working with Mike from Inspire Communications and how he was able to bring a lot of resources to the table, evaluating all options.  In the end, the Matrix model was what worked best for them.  Matrix was able to assist Metrolina with getting out of the hardware business and to focus instead on controlling their spend and growing their business.

Excruciating Pain & Extraordinary People

2:15 a.m. PDT, Wednesday morning, it started.  Sharp, searing pain on the lower right side of my abdomen…flipped on like a switch.  This was not a foreign pain to me.  I had been dragged through this field of broken glass twice before over the past 5 years.  I knew what had just started and knew what I was in for.

“Susie, wake up, time to get me to the hospital.  I’m passing a kidney stone.”

We called ahead to the emergency room to get them ready.  “No fussing around.  Have the good stuff ready when I get there.”

I was scheduled to fly to Orange County at 8:00 a.m. to speak to 70 of our sales partners and to run another hugely impactful Intelisys Mindshare event.  As they began pumping narcotics into my arm, I knew I was not going to make it…someone was going to have stand in that gap.

It’s at times of crisis when the true character and talent of extraordinary people really shines.  This was one of those times.  Jay Bradley, Mike McKenney, Dana Topping, Chuck Mache.  It’s amazing what a deep bench of gifted leaders we have at Intelisys.  They all stepped in and ran a world-class event.  Sure, I’m guessing they made lots of jokes about me being stoned, but truth is always funny…  I was completely wasted while they were helping our partners build their businesses. Andrew in Hospital

This experience reminds me of a really important business lesson.

  • Is there something you do in your company that you’ve felt only you can do?
  • Are you sure there aren’t others that could step up if asked?
  • How deep is your bench?
  • How often do you test the capabilities of that bench?

Today I am grateful for so many things.  I’m grateful to be surrounded by extraordinary people who collectively make up the absolute best leadership team in the channel…truly awe-inspiring to be a part of this.  I’m grateful that when my body said "no", our team said "yes" and they hit it out of the park.  And lastly, I’m grateful this little fella passed on through and I can get back to doing my part.  And drugs…  I’m grateful for those, too. Pet Rock Good selling.

A Glimpse Into the Cloud

To be more accurate, this is a glimpse into the conversation on Cloud or, as we like to call it, the "conversation on convergence."

We wrapped up our second CLOUD LIVE! event of 2014 yesterday at the Petaluma studios.  We had a great time doing it and wanted to say "thank you" to everyone involved in the setup, the panel conversations, as well as everyone who took time out of their schedules to join us.  The next event is coming up quickly — our second Polycom Cloud Services University — and we’re hoping you’ll all be able to join us again!

For now, have a look at some of the inner workings of CLOUD LIVE!

CL-studio-stream-engineer

Cloud-Live-set-up-final-panel

CL-studio-andrew-checking-text-between-panels

CL-screen3