Together We Become Better
By Nick Enger
It’s that time of year. We’re all reflecting on goals, assessing accomplishments and forecasting for the upcoming year. Where is our company headed? What obstacles might we face? Are there new products and services out there we should be offering to customers?
Whether you like it or not, cloud offerings will be part of your 2014 product portfolio. If you have any doubts, take a look at the Channel Partners home page or that of any of the vendors you represent. My guess is that the word “cloud" will be prominent in their banners, headings, articles and promotions.
Cloud offerings expand the agent’s role well beyond the telecom or network environment. Agents are now touching every facet of the company, weighing in on strategic decisions to drive the customer’s business. It’s exciting. The more you can consult on, the “stickier" customers become. Who doesn’t welcome new opportunities and revenue streams?
Vendors feel that — on the whole — agents are not well educated on the cloud. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the number of vendors looking to roll out certifications in the coming months. As many of you know, the TCA has a certification program that our vendor members help support. We developed full tracks on cloud, high cap bandwidth and cable broadband to keep up with the ever-changing marketplace. If you joined me in resolving to “Sharpen the Saw" in 2013, finish strong by getting cloud ready for the coming year.
In addition to getting the new tracks added to the CTP, we’re excited to announce a new educational initiative for 2014. As you know, the IT community is tightknit, but surprisingly inept at sharing information and experiences between peers. TCA hopes to facilitate peer-to-peer sharing through a monthly educational webinar series titled “The Voice of the Agent."
These will not be like those webinars where you log in and check out into multitasking land. Each one will feature a panel of fellow agents who will be engaging on the specific topics and issues most pertinent to agents and their business. These calls will be on an open bridge for all attendees to participate and speak to what’s working and what’s not in the market.
TCA’s initiative was sparked by a simple truth: Together, we become better. We hope that you join in this effort. Better yet, sit on an upcoming webinar panel by shooting me an email. We would love to hear your voice.
Nick Enger is Senior Telecom Consultant and Manager of Business Development of Advanced Technology Consulting, Inc. (ATC) in Mason, Ohio. He is also the secretary of the board of trustees for the Technology Channel Association (TCA) and sits on CompTIA’s Unified Communications Executive Council.