Vendor-Partner Marketing: Meet me Halfway

A few weeks back, I hosted a partner panel discussion at the HTG Vendor Peer Group at the Lenovo facilities in Raleigh, NC. eFolder participates in the HTG Vendor Peer Group with 12 other IT vendor organizations. Our partner panel was comprised of three business leaders from well run MSPs from the Raleigh market: Clay Harris, Stephen Riddick, and Barry Utesch.

Partner Perspective
The topic of vendor funded marketing came up during the conversation. To listen in depth, go to minute 25:00. Stephen Riddick made several astute comments about the tension between vendor and partner objectives with marketing. Riddick noted that vendors often want to push products, while channel partners need to promote their own business and brand name; partners need new clients, not quick hits on the product front.

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Three Great Reasons to Use Data.com

Last night I attended the local meetup of Data.com users in San Francisco. I am continually amazed at how many people are not aware of the power of Data.com.

Data.com is the relatively new name for the company formerly called Jigsaw. Salesforce acquired Jigsaw a few years back and has nurtured and improved the business under the new ownership. Data.com is the most reliable source for business-to-business email addresses, in my personal experience.

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Start With Farming

HTG Partner Panel: Dave DelVecchio, Dan Adams, and Kenny Rounds.

Back in September, I had the pleasure of organizing another HTG Partner Panel at our HTG Vendor Peer Group meeting at the Dell offices in Boston, MA. The partner panel is always the highlight of our meeting, as we get to listen to partners for full hour as they share their challenges, successes, and needs when running an MSP or solution provider company. It is also a good opportunity to vent some frustrations with vendor programs and tactics. The partners we bring to the panel get a willing audience, since we have twelve vendor people on the peer group who are anxious to listen and learn from partners.

Dan Adams, from New England Network Solutions, Inc., provided the biggest takeaway for me.

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HTG Vision Summit: Lies, Damned Lies, and Inflation

Ted Hulsy delivered a "TED-style" talk at the HTG Vision Summit. The conversation revolves around the true rate of inflation. There are key learnings and takeaways for MSP business owners.

Ted Hulsy | Lies, Damned Lies, and Inflation
Inflation is alive and well in America. The truth is hidden for a variety of reasons. The official statistics tell a rosy picture, but people feel it in their bones. They know, after every passing year, their dollars buy less and less. Ted will share how to correctly study, measure, and think about inflation in today's economy. The first rule with inflation is "no victims." Ted will provide concrete advice on how to combat the creeping problem of inflation in your business, personal, and financial life.

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Sales: Hire Someone or Go 100%

Last week I had the pleasure of participating in the HTG Vision Summit 2013. The event gathered together thought leaders from the IT channel and MSP space for two days of "TED style" talks on a range of different topics.

A common theme was the need for MSP business owners to develop stronger sales capabilities. Arlin Sorensen delivered a talk on the traits of a Next Generation Partner organization. Arlin highlighted the fact that tomorrow's successful partner will earn less total margin from on-site services. Instead, a successful partner will in general need a larger geographic footprint, more clients, and better sales capabilities. In short, to scale profitably, a successful partner will need a real sales organization.

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