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As part of its regular coverage of telecom and IT channels, Channel Partners covers the transformation of channel business models. This blog includes entries from its ongoing coverage, including case studies of partners in transformation.

The Transformation of Voice Smart Networks – Part 2

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Dale Stein VOICE SMART NETWORKS
Transformation leader: Dale Stein, Partner
Number of employees: 14
Year established: 1982
Original transactional business model: Telecom VAR selling phone systems; subagent
Post-transformation business model: Managed service provider, data/voice VAR

How did you make the transformation away from a transactional business model?

We’re still making the transition as this is and has been the biggest challenge. We started by hiring what we thought was the talent we needed to be successful, only to discover it is extremely difficult to find all the necessary talent in one person. With this, we hired two individuals with computer and networking backgrounds and proceeded to develop courses for each of them. Technology Assurance Group (TAG) was instrumental in our training program, as is MSP University. The learning phase is still an ongoing process, starting with the sales force on to the technical staff. We also partnered up with an outside MSP for help desk services and use them as a source of knowledge when presenting solutions to our customer. In addition to the staff we hired and are still training, we started to develop a different marketing strategy, as we were known as a phone provider. Our ads and Web page, plus our press releases, now reflect the data side of our business.

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