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Intelisys' chief cloud strategist, Andrew Pryfogle, senior vice president and general manager of cloud services and complex bids, shared its road map with Channel Partners following the event. The plan, built on the foundation Pryfogle started with the Cloud Services Coalition, which was acquired by Intelisys in May 2012, includes three parts:
1. Assemble a "world-class" portfolio of cloud providers that are vetted for not only technological and operational excellence but business and financial viability as well. Pryfogle said there are a number of cloud providers that are "not ready for prime time" because their companies are not well funded or their services poorly executed. The Intelisys Cloud Services portfolio includes companies such as Evolve IP, inContact, Jive, Matrix, ServerCentral, ShoreTel Sky, SimpleSignal and Thinking Phone Networks, which were recognized as Platinum Suppliers at Channel Connect.
2. Provide partners with cloud services education through the Cloud Services University, which was announced this summer and so far has trained 450 sales partners, including 100 who attended a pre-event workshop at Channel Connect. Pryfogle said the emphasis with CSU is how to start the cloud sales conversation and to get past the fear, uncertainty and doubt.
3. Deliver high-touch sales support to partners by "selling for" before "selling with" before "selling through." Pryfogle said this graduated approach enables partners to learn as they go and not have to be cloud experts on day one. Additionally, he said cloud sales overlay support presently is provided to partners without a commission hit that's common with core services because the company is confident its agents are eager to be self-sufficient in cloud services.
Admittedly, Intelisys' three-pronged plan on its face is not complex, but its execution most certainly is, requiring not only long-term commitment but investment. Part one, for example, requires a deep bench of expertise and study to merely identify the best-of-breed providers, not to mention the time and effort to validate their offers, processes and financials as well as negotiate favorable agent agreements -- a major stumbling block for new-to-cloud agents to overcome on their own. Similarly, the other parts rely on experience and expertise that remain rare and in demand in the marketplace. The company's acquisition of CSC is a high-profile example of that investment to gain cloud resources.