Andrew Pryfogle, Intelysis’ Senior VP, Cloud Transformation, was interviewed at Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, NV, in March 2015. Watch him answer how to have the conversations necessary to uncover opportunities and close big deals in the Cloud space. Follow the link to watch the video or read the full transcript below.
Craig Galbraith: Hi everyone, Craig Galbraith here at the Spring 2015 Channel Partners Conference and Expo. Our own Kelly Teal and I had a chance to sit down with some industry leaders to talk about the big issues that you’re talking about, including Cloud, mobility, security, and much more.
Kelly Teal: Right now, I am with Intelisys’ Andrew Pryfogle. Thank you for being here, Andrew.
Andrew Pryfogle: You bet, glad to be here.
Kelly Teal: Absolutely. So tell me, Intelisys just released the second track of its Cloud Services University certification program.
Andrew Pryfogle: Yeah.
Kelly Teal: What’s the most important thing about this course that you want partners to know?
Andrew Pryfogle: The university we’ve been investing a lot of time and energy in … We believe this whole shift to an as-a-Service model requires a lot of education; frankly, on both the agent’s side and the IT solution provider’s side. Both channels trying to figure out how they converge around Cloud to re-tool their businesses – there’s an enormous opportunity there.
That’s what this University’s all about. It’s about not just teaching the bits and bytes of Cloud, the engineering side of it, although that’s important and there’s a lot of that in there. It’s mostly about how do you sell this stuff, how do you have the conversation, how do you ask the right questions, how do you uncover opportunities? So our first certification track that we launched on February 11th was the Telecom Solutions Professional Certification. We’ve had three hundred and fifty or so people already register for that, sales partners in our communities and other communities; it’s open to the entire industry. That’s been very, very well received.
We then just finished production on our second certification track, the Cloud Computing Solutions Professional. That goes even deeper into Cloud. If the first one gives you the introduction to Telecom, gives you the history of Telecom, the introduction to wide-area networking, into Data Center and Cloud and things like that—kind of a cursory level—this next certification track takes you even deeper, into things like virtual desktop and virtualization technologies, and public versus private versus hybrid. All the really important items on Cloud that you need to be versed in, but most importantly driven by. How do you have the conversation to uncover opportunities and close big deals on the Cloud?
Kelly Teal: In terms of Intelisys’ channel program for 2015, what are some things you have in store for partners?
Andrew Pryfogle: The next big thing for us is, how do we continue to drive growth and help our partners grow their businesses? The announcement yesterday that we made that we’re so, so jazzed about is “Drive for 5!” Literally, we set a goal out in roughly 2008 that said to our partner community, “If you hit a million dollars in billing, you’re going to achieve a Platinum-level status with Intelisys.” It was a big, audacious goal. Some people didn’t think it was achievable in monthly billings, with a single master agent like us. Well, one partner hit it. In 2011, Tricia Ward and Brian Newman. They were the first to achieve it and since then, we’ve had five additional partners hit there. Six total partners that have gotten to this goal, which was, for some people, unreachable.
The next big deal is the first sales partner that builds their billing base to $5 million a month in recurring revenue, net new billing each month. Five million dollars? We’re going to write a million dollar check to that partner. A million dollar check. That’s unheard of, in our business. It’s something that we’ve been thinking a lot about. What fires us up as a business is how do we get the sales partner community, the best of the best, the top performers in this community, how do we get them really motivated to take their business to the next level? It’s humbling for us to be able to be a part of that. It’s very, very exciting.
Kelly Teal: Last question. What’s one key piece of advice you think partners should act on in 2015?
Andrew Pryfogle: Yeah. For me, it’s not being afraid to have the conversations with your customers. The partners in our community that are really succeeding right now in Cloud, they’re stepping out kind of right through the face of fear and going in and asking the questions that they may not even know the answers to themselves. Digging into areas that they may not be super knowledgeable in yet. But with the goal that, “I’m just trying to uncover opportunities,” and trusting that we’ve got their back. Partners that aren’t afraid to start having those conversations are winning really, really big right now. That would be my encouragement for the rest of the channel. If you’ve been nervous about going into this new area of Cloud communications and Cloud computing and Cloud infrastructure because you don’t feel like you’re expert in it, don’t worry. Don’t let that stop you. Step through that and have those conversations, it’ll pay off big time for you.
Kelly Teal: Excellent. Andrew, thanks for being here.
Andrew Pryfogle: You’re welcome. Thank you.
Kelly Teal: Absolutely.