Five Ways to Prepare for the Vegas Channel Show

Are You Ready For Vegas?

Well, it’s that time of year again…we are only two weeks away from the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. What you may not realize is that most of your success at the show will depend on your preparation, so we’re passing along some tips to make sure you’re prepared. These events can get pricey, so make sure you squeeze out every last drop of opportunity!

1. Set Some Goals – Decide why you are attending the show and what your desired outcomes, or as Stephen R. Covey said, "Begin with the end in mind." You may have three or four goals in mind, but make sure they are clear. This will help you greatly in planning your time at the show.

2. Do Your Homework – Rather than strolling the expo floor aimlessly, hoping to run into people you want to see, do your research and schedule as many appointments ahead of time as possible. Make sure to focus in on the goals you set above. You can access the list of exhibitors here: http://www.channelpartnersconference.com/2013/vegas/exhibitors.html

3. Prepare Your Team – Make sure you and your team are all on the same page in terms of strategy and logistics of the show. If you have a lot of people attending, it’s a good idea to have one person designated to manage travel arrangements and schedules. Make sure everyone has plenty of business cards and the appropriate attire.

4. Take Care of Yourself – Nothing is worse than feeling under the weather at a fast-paced event like the Channel Show, so take steps to ensure you’re healthy and have lots of energy. Start now, making sure you’re eating well, getting lots of rest, and avoiding sick people. And don’t forget your Airborne!

5. Plan Your Follow Up – Have you ever attending an event only to return and stare blankly at a large stack of business cards? Don’t let this be you. Instead, plan now for how you will categorize the people you meet, and how you will follow up with each category. Will you send an email, make a phone call, connect on LinkedIn? These are all things you can decide now so your plan is in place when you return. 

By following these simple steps, you can make the most of any trade show or event you attend. We can’t wait to see you in Vegas!
 

 

“We Can Do That Too!” …And Other Dangerous Statements for VARs

Four years ago I started Terrapin Solutions.  It was a big idea with lots of promise.  But as any young venture, we had our growing pains…had to find our way, had to carve out our niche, had to create our own unique brand.  Looking back, we made a lot of mistakes.  One of the biggest was expanding our scope before we were ready. 

"I understand you do this, but can you also do that?"  
 
"Uh…sure!"
 
That conversation seemed to happen a lot.  We actually took pride in our ability to be flexible and opportunistic.  But looking back, we can see how that took us off course, away from our core business, away from what we were really good at, what we were really strong around, and into areas we didn’t fully understand, didn’t have experience in, areas we couldn’t confidently and consistently deliver with excellence.  And because of that, everything suffered.
 
Fortunately, we figured it out early enough to make the appropriate course correction that enabled us to build a really successful cloud services practice.
 
I’m reminded of our story because I’m seeing it play out with increasing frequency amongst IT Solution Providers that I talk with every day.  So many that have built successful businesses around selling and supporting boxes are now struggling with the shift to carrier & cloud services.  They’re finding that stating "we can do that too" is woefully insufficient.  They desperately want to make the shift, but they are ill-equipped to do so.  They don’t have the capital, the staff, the expertise, or the runway.  Doing so in spite of those challenges results in more pain than profit.
 
So the real question is, how does a business transform itself without dying from the effort?  More specifically, how does a IT Solution Provider make the pivot to carrier & cloud services without running out of runway?
 
To successfully make the pivot, you must have three things.
  1. The expertise - you must truly understand carrier & cloud services…how they’re priced, sold, ordered, supported, etc.  Its a very different world than hardware.
  2. Dedicated resources – expecting your existing hardware sales people to begin selling carrier & cloud services in volume is a failed model.  You must have dedicated sales people who wake up every day looking to put food on the table by selling nothing but carrier & carrier services.
  3. Sufficient Capital – residual revenue can be compelling long term, but it takes a serious runway to get there.  Plan on 18+ months to get to a monthly run-rate that is meaningful.
So do these requirements kill this idea for many IT Solution Providers?  Does this mean the pivot is only possible for the biggest, well-resourced VARs?  Perhaps.
 
Or perhaps partnering with the right outside resource is the best answer.  We at Intelisys recently launched our Channel Alignment Program.  Very simply, it aligns VARs with cloud & carrier services sales professionals.  It enables a VAR to begin making the pivot immediately, without investing any cash and without redirecting resources from their core business.
 
Could this be the answer for many who are struggling to make this shift?  I’d love your feedback.

Intelisys Announces Cloud Services University to Ensure Success of Telecom Agents and IT VARs in Selling Cloud Solutions

Intelisys Launches Free Training Courses at Polycom Learning Centers Across the Country, Covering Topics Like Cloud Sales, Hosted VoIP and More

Petaluma, CA (August 6, 2012) – Intelisys, the leading Master Agency of business communications services including voice, data and Internet access, today announced the formation of Cloud Services University, a series of free workshops on a wide variety of Cloud-related topics. The courses are held concurrently at Polycom Learning Centers throughout the United States on a bi-monthly basis.

 “Cloud services represent an enormous opportunity for the channel, but there remains a lot of confusion and chaos,” said Andrew Pryfogle, Senior VP & General Manager of Cloud Services & Complex Bids. “We’re committed to clearing up that confusion and helping the channel take full advantage of the Cloud explosion.”

“There is a big need for practical training on how to successfully identify, design and sell Cloud solutions.  Our approach integrates practical Cloud sales training seamlessly with both telco and cable services, and thanks to the University, anyone not currently selling Cloud services could attend a course today and begin selling tomorrow,” continued Pryfogle. 

Intelisys plans to expand the University beyond the classroom experience to include live webinars, online access to previously held seminars, and various levels of certification.

“This is the future of the telecom agent, solution provider and IT agent who intends to still be in business in five years,” said Jay Bradley, President of Intelisys. “Our entire business strategy encompasses Cloud and the solution it provides for the end user customer.”

The launch of Intelisys’ Cloud Services University is extremely timely given the massive growth projections of Cloud-related services to businesses of all sizes. According to technology research firm Gartner, spending on enterprise public Cloud services is expected to hit $109 billion in 2012, up from $91 billion in 2011. In 2016, Cloud services spending will reach $207 billion.

 “The Intelisys Cloud offering is unique because we recognized the need to go beyond providing just one Cloud solution to our agent community and their customers,” said Dana Topping, Co-Owner of Intelisys. “Instead, we created an aggregation of more than 16 industry-leading Cloud services providers, so our agents have the distinct ability to determine which solution is the best fit for each customer. The training and education behind the University will go a long way to equip our agents for long-term success in selling Cloud services.”

Classes have already begun, filling Polycom Learning Centers to capacity. After attending a recent New York City course, Intelisys Agent Partner Rich Piquett commented, "The Cloud Sales Workshop was a very effective event.  The format was energetic and collaborative, and the content critical to building a foundation for future workshops.  Well worth my time!"

Currently scheduled workshops include:

Classes are offered at Polycom Learning Centers in the following cities:

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston/Andover, MA
  • Chicago/Rosemont, IL
  • Dallas/Irving, TX
  • Denver/Westminster, CO
  • New York City, NY
  • Orange County/Irvine, CA
  • Santa Clara, CA
  • Seattle/Bellevue, WA
  • Washington DC/Herndon, VA

Connect with Intelisys online:

About Intelisys

Intelisys is the nation’s leading Master Agent and the only telecom master agency focused exclusively on supporting the Channel’s top-producing sales agents. The company specializes in providing a broad suite of telecom value-based solutions to ensure the top-producing agent’s success. Intelisys services include a complete selection of carrier voice and data, cloud, cable, collaboration services, wireless and wired access, auxiliary services such as voice and web conferencing, and Intelisys’ proprietary telecom asset management tool, Audex. Since its inception in 1994, Intelisys’ growth is a result of the unique formula of recruiting top-producing agents, capitalizing on industry trends, and most importantly, providing exceptional operational and back-office support. This formula has positioned Intelisys as the recognized thought leader in the telecommunications independent sales channel.

 

Intelisys Cloud Services University Coming Soon to a City Near You!

 

Close More Deals with Our Free Educational Seminars
Did you know Intelisys has launched Cloud Services University? We’ve designed each seminar to bring you the exact information you need to be as successful as possible at selling Cloud services. Classes are held at Polycom Learning Centers throughout the country. Below is some detailed information on our next event, as well the schedule for the next couple of months. Stay tuned as we add workshops near you!
 

Join us for our next workshop!
Tuesday June 26, 2012 – Cloud Sales Workshop – Hosted VoIP 101
  • Hosted vs. Premised – learn the differences and key advantages of hosted VoIP versus premised-based alternatives
  • VoIP done right – not all VoIP is equal, recognize the pitfalls to VoIP, and where it blows up
  • LAN considerations – ensuring that the customers LAN is VoIP ready
  • Portfolio overview – identify who fits where – no one VoIP provider is the perfect fit for every customer, where each supplier fits best
  • Identifying and qualifying those customers who are an ideal fit for a hosted solution – where we are winning
Upcoming workshops. Click on the links for more detailed info:

 

 

 

Here’s what one attendee had to say: “The Cloud Sales Workshop was a very effective event.  The format was energetic and collaborative, and the content critical to building a foundation for future workshops.  Well worth my time!” - Rich Piquett

 

 

Audex 101: Introduction to the Most Robust Asset Manager Program in Telecommunications

Audex Asset Management At Intelisys, we are constantly developing and updating tools designed to help make your telecom sales business more successful. With that in mind, we dedicate this post to Audex, an asset manager program that will keep all your information in one place, making you more organized and efficient so you can spend more time selling.

What is Audex?

Audex is a state-of-the-art telecommunication asset manager program, designed especially for you, the telecom sales partner. Now you can access all your important information through a web-based portal, with no software downloads required.  With Audex, you get real-time accessibility to view and update data anywhere the Internet is available. What’s more, you do not have to be an Intelisys partner to take advantage of Audex. We’ve made it available to all telecom sales agents, and additional carriers may be added that fall outside our current portfolio. Here are some of the key features available in the standard version of Audex:

  • Searchable Customer Inventory Database
  • Order Entry and Tracking Module
  • Document & Contract Library
  • Contacts Manager
  • Full Customization for Branding and Reselling
  • Visual Reporting and Custom Report Builder
  • Reminders and Alerts Scheduler for Important Dates
  • Flexible Security Settings

3 Versions of Audex

Audex Express – FREE TRIAL

  • Brand with your logo and colors
  • Create up to 50 customer accounts
  • One login for managing your business
  • Run standard reports

Audex Professional

  • Brand and re-license to your customers
  • Create up to 100 customer accounts
  • Unlimited user access
  • Access to Custom Report Builder

 Audex Enterprise

  • Full-service management of all your customer database
  • Brand and re-license to your customers as a managed services offer
  • Unlimited customer accounts
  • Unlimited user access
  • Access to Custom Report Builder
  • Unlimited training and support

What are partners saying about Audex?

Our partnership with Audex has enabled us to enter the TEM market overnight and generate a new revenue stream while creating more value in managing our clients telecommunications. We have realized over a 20% increase in sales revenue since implementation, and over a 30%  reduction in churn.” Joel St. Germain, Global Communications Group, Inc. “Audex originally help position our company to win a large multi site customer, but after discovering the full scope of what Audex could do, we decided to use the tool internally to manage our entire customer base. Having a CRM tool designed specifically for the telecom industry has greatly increased efficiencies within the company, and has given us a platform to really grow the business.” Colombo DiSalvatore, C4 Communications, LLC Ready to find out more? Post your questions below or call 1-800-615-8330 for more information.

Top 10 Reasons to Attend Channel Connect, Best Event in the Telecom Channel

Calling all telecom Channel Partners! Our flagship event is just a few weeks away, so if you haven’t booked your trip, now is the time! And just in case you need some extra coaxing, here are the top 10 reasons why you should attend. Of course, there are more like millions of reasons, but we know you’re busy out there selling, so we kept it to 10.

  1. Network with the best – Agents, Suppliers, and Vendors…oh my! Come mix and mingle with all your favorite telecom industry people, plus your caring Intelisys staff!
  2. Learn lots of cool stuff – Our roundtables, general sessions and panel discussions are designed to keep you in the know on the latest trends in telecom and technology.
  3. Meet our preferred vendors – We’ve hand picked our favorite vendors to showcase their services at our business fair. Find out how they can help supercharge different parts of your business.
  4. Choose your own adventure – Friday is excursion day! Choose from Alcatraz, golf, wine country and more. Experience some of the best opportunities the area has to offer.
  5. Eat yummy food – San Fran is known for amazing seafood and sourdough bread, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy both!
  6. Drink even yummier wine (in moderation of course) – We are located in one of the most recognized areas of the world for outstanding wine. Come enjoy it, and take a few bottles home too!
  7. Get your groove on – Friday night we have a live band for music and dancing, so brush up on your “Robot” skills and meet us on the dance floor for some great times.
  8. Enjoy an amazing city at the perfect time – With perfect weather and lots going on, you may want to stay in the area for the weekend to enjoy all that San Francisco has to offer.
  9. Avoid feeling guilty and lame for not attending –After the event, all your telecom friends will go on and on about how great it was and how you missed out on such a great time. Avoid the guilt and just come!
  10. Feel the Intelisys LOVE – It’s true…all of us here at Intelisys love our partners, suppliers and vendors, and we pour our hearts into creating an awesome event for you every October. We could all use more love…so come feel it and share it! See you soon! 

Ready to join us? Below are the details. Please email info@intelisys.com right now for more information.

When: Wednesday, October 12th through Friday, October 14th, 2011

Where:  Westin St. Francis Hotel, 335 Powell St., San Francisco, CA

Check in: 3:00pm

Check out: 12:00pm

Agenda:

Wednesday, October 12:

  • Welcome Reception, 8:00pm-10:00pm

Thursday, October 13:

  • Product Presentations: Cloud (Infrastructure as a Service, Software as a Service, Communications as a Service, IT as a Service, Cloud Enablers), Cable, Collaboration, and Network Services
  • Platinum Sponsors Panel
  • Business Fair 

Friday, October 14:

  • Friday Excursions
  • Dinner & Awards
  • Music and Dancing

 

 

Weekly Partner Tip – Searchable Supplier Training Calendar

Introducing Partner Support Tips!

Partners, check this category often for tips and tricks on how to maximize your time and your business working with Intelisys.

Not an Intelisys partner yet? You may not be able to access the links in this post. Talk to us today for more info on how to become a partner!

This week’s tip is brought to you by Rebecca Richman, Process & Training Manager.

Searchable Supplier Training Calendar

Check out the searchable Supplier Training Calendar on the Intelisys Website. You can select specific suppliers, types of trainings, and date ranges and get a customized list of all the training available. Use this new tool to bring supplier specific trainings to you and your back office team.

 

Choosing a Master Agency? Stability Matters

Let’s face it – your business is your livelihood. And when it comes to choosing a master agency to support your telecom business sales, the size and stability of that agency matter immensely.

Intelisys, the leader in telecom master agencies, is the largest master agency in the industry. Here are some of the ways our size and stability matter to our agents, and make a significant contribution to their success.

  1. Size of support team – Intelisys offers a network of support personnel and resources unmatched in the industry.  With more than 40 full-time support staff, you can stay focused on selling and let us handle “the small stuff.” And more time spent selling means more revenue for your business.
  2. Size of revenues – The size of Intelisys also provides a level of stability that ensures commissions will always be paid. We have a 100% track record of paying our agents on time.
  3. Size of resources – Because of our vast resources, partners of Intelisys can focus on prospecting, selling and building relationships, while we handle the legwork of quoting, engineering and interacting with carriers. 

Because of all these attributes, Intelisys truly is the “Home of the Top Producer.”

Don’t Just Get Support, Get Support on STEROIDS!

Did you know that Intelisys employs more than 40 full-time support personnel? It’s one of the things that makes us the leader in our space and and allows us to truly offer a second-to-none experience for Top Producers.

But what does “more support” really mean for YOU? It sure sounds great, but how will tapping into our network will actually change your life and your business? Here’s how:

  • Top producers like you get ALL the support they need. Training, quoting, sales cycle, and more. That way, you can stay focused on selling, enabling you to sell more.
  • Less stress – Wouldn’t it be nice to outsource some of your headaches and hassles sometimes? That’s exactly what you do when you partner with Intelisys.
  • Lowered costs – With our team of support staff just a phone call or email away, you may not need internal personnel to handle tasks like quoting or negotiating with carriers.
  • Less red tape – Intelisys has a stellar reputation and position with more that 44 carriers across the country, enabling you and your customers to always get the best rates and customer service available.
  • More efficiency – Because of our support structure, Intelisys partners can sell more, do more, accomplish more, and make more money.
  • More freedom – Finally, you can work ON your business rather than just IN your business, and that translates into even more growth.