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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 Telecom Advisors - Part 4

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TELECOM ADVISORS
Transformation leader: Dan Vidal, Managing Director
Number of employees: 5
Year established: 2002
Original transactional business model: Telecom agent/subagent
Post-transformation business model: Consultant/“trusted adviser"

How has your company been challenged by the transformation away from a transactional business model?

The challenges of our own transformation are multifaceted. For us the biggest challenge has probably been, and remains, time — which, of course, mainly includes time to revenue. Things always seem to take at least double the amount of time predicted. So we’ve actually now become accustomed to forecasting a project and then doubling the timeframe we’re thinking it will take. I think the key reason for this is simply the fact that we’re still running a full-time and very engaging business, so transformation has to occur at the same time as the traditional business that pays most of the bills.

Other challenges range and I’ll highlight a few more. One is mindset and paradigm shift. It’s far easier to ask a customer to spend less money and divert their current spending to you instead of asking a customer to spend new money with you on top of what they are already spending. This difference requires a different mindset, attitude and even company culture. Similar to this is the challenge of gaining the mastery of skills and/or knowledge required within the areas of transformation. For us, two of those areas are telecom life cycle management and business continuity/disaster recovery. It’s requiring a much deeper knowledge base and skill set, which, of course, also takes time to obtain.

Overall, transformation is very attainable and even recommended in our opinion, but it’s just best going into it knowing it’s going to take time — as well as passion, commitment and other resources — to get it right.

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