Verizon, CenturyLink, AT&T at WTG Event: Partners, Education Key to Digital Transformation

… invest in this and go through these steps and make the change to do something different,'” said Bill Hooper, managing director of the partner channel at Verizon-owned XO Communications.

Verizon's Bill Hooper

Verizon’s Bill Hooper

But although plenty of businesses are nervous about making changes, there are drivers that they can’t avoid.

Vince Bradley cites cloud migration as a key driver, but another inevitable factor is the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law that goes into effect in May.

“Every business in the world is going to have to comply with what’s going on there,” he said.

John DeLozier, CenturyLink‘s vice president of strategic partners and alliances, said that customers and their partners are simply catching up with the rest of the modern world.

CenturyLink's John DeLozier

CenturyLink’s John DeLozier

“Enterprise follows consumer,” DeLozier said. “Our expectations have really changed.”

DeLozier told Bridgepointe Technologies partners last month about the CenturyLink study of 3,000 Fortune 5,000 companies and their plans for digital transformation. Ninety-two percent of those businesses said they would use a third party to assist with those changes.

Leonard says these businesses typically face a large skills gap.

“There’s a massive skills pivot that has to take place in businesses, and that’s where all of you can come in, because if you keep your skills up to date and are always ahead of the game, you can help them through that transition,” Leonard said. “And you do it by clearing up that fear of the unknown. There’s such a fine line between fear and excitement.”

The channel makes a lot of sense for businesses that are scrambling to patch holes in their skill set.

“They either have to build it internally, they have to hire for it, or they can partner. The fastest way to start is to partner,” Leonard said.

DeLozier and the panelists agreed education is key to bridging this gap. He referenced a partner who is an expert in data center.

“That makes it easier for that partner to go to that customer with his expertise and be able to practically say to them, ‘Look, you sell widgets. Here’s a better way to sell widgets. Here’s how you can do it. We can make your life easier,'” DeLozier said.

WTG hosted agents and suppliers at the Scottsdale, Arizona, event. One of the exhibitors is BCN, which announced its partnership with WTG earlier this week. Our recent podcast featured WTG’s director of sales operations.

Spring Training

Steve Garvey, the longtime Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman and MLB Hall of Fame candidate, opened the morning activities with a speech.

Garvey won the 1981 World Series, 1974 National League MVP honors and reached the All-Star game 10 times. He spoke to partners about how …

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