Few sports are as associated with the art of discipline and focus like martial arts. To progress in the sport requires time, patience, and dedication over the long haul.
Dave Harding knows this all too well.
Introduced to Karate at the tender age of 12, and later working as a coach himself, martial arts has shaped much of Dave’s life.
Although he’s since hung up his coaching belt, Dave’s teachings from martial arts have served him well professionally.
As the CEO of Technology Resource Center of America (TRCA), a nationwide technology services provider operating since 1991, Dave’s is a unique success story in the industry.
Initially structured as a VAR, Dave has pivoted his business over the years to that of MSP and Cloud and Carrier service provider.
That’s an almost unheard of feat. But one made possible with Dave’s longtime allies: discipline, dedication, and patience.
I recently sat down with him to hear a bit more about this herculean undertaking.
The Path to Transformation
As the old saying goes, there are three certainties in life: taxes, death, and change. Anyone working in the world of technology knows the latter all too well. These days, it seems like what’s hot today can become obsolete in as little as a few months.
And change is something Dave has learned to adapt his business to over the years. In fact, it’s this adaptability that’s made TRCA such a breakout success.
Back in 1991, Dave founded TRCA as a telephone hardware system VAR. As the years rolled on, opportunities began to open up on the service and maintenance side of things. Dave knew such chances were what TRCA needed to grow.
The trouble was. Neither Dave or his team had service or maintenance experience. They were a hardware sales team, plain and simple.
They were also very underprepared, and so, errors inevitably happened.
The Big Gamble
What Dave did next was extreme, to say the least. But accomplishing extreme change requires extreme measures. He fired his entire sales staff, but with an offering.
Everyone could have their job back if they came in on Monday ready to regroup, focus, and dedicate themselves to learning the new business direction.
The gamble paid off.
Shortly after the overhaul, Dave’s team started selling a lot of telephony maintenance and service. Today, they’ve evolved even further to now also include Cloud carrier services.
Not an easy feat for a team that began as strict hardware players.
In fact, making the leap from VAR to Cloud carrier is virtually unheard of in the industry. While both exist within the IT and telecom world, they do so while drawing from completely different knowledge sets and providing very different offerings. Think cardiologist and neurosurgeon. Both are skilled and knowledge in their expertise (hopefully!). And sure both operate on the human body, but they do in completely different regions and using completely different tools.
Similarly, when making his leap to the Cloud, Dave had to acquire and apply a radically new way of thinking and operating his business. This meant rebuilding his entire organization (from the sales floor to technical staff) and virtually throwing away many of the practices that made his VARs based business a success.
Learning the Master Distributor Game
Back in the late 1990’s, ‘master distributor’ was a little-known term in the field. When Dave caught wind of the term, however, he knew big change was coming to the industry. So, as he did with his other leaps, he decided TRCA needed to get involved.
And involved he became. Soon after hearing about the term, Dave and his team signed TRCA up with every master distributor they could find.
Sub-agent deals with several followed, as did a bumpy ride in learning the ins and outs of the master distributor game.
Today, TRCA is one of Intelisys’ most successful service partners. To Dave, a big part of this success was being able to draw from Intelisys’ in-house expertise.
Leaning on Intelisys
He says Brandon Smith, our VP of Sales in the Central Region, was particularly helpful in stepping up TRCA’s fluency in the master distributor world.
According to Dave, Brandon took a teaching approach that challenged Dave’s thinking and old-practices. In essence, Brandon spoke a language Dave well understood: break down the old and build the new with discipline and focus.
And it’s through Brandon’s lessons that TRCA was able to recalibrate to become one of Intelisys’ breakthrough suppliers. So much so that they recently won one of our President’s Club trips.
Dave’s is an inspiring story of how change can become your ally towards success if you go about it head-on. To hear more about Dave’s journey and how Brandon helped Dave excel in the master distributor game, hop on over to the podcast.