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AppDirect’s Saks Addresses Post-WTG Acquisition Needs, Successes

Failure vs. Success

WTG subagents are adopting new technologies following AppDirect’s acquisition of the master agent.

AppDirect founder and Co-CEO Daniel Saks told a partner audience Friday that he’s excited to see them adding Google Apps, IBM MaaS360 and other offerings to their portfolios. He encouraged them to take advantage of AppDirect’s support and expertise as they sell and implement cloud or IT-focused services.

“What I’ve heard from many of you is that you’re really good at selling certain services, and you don’t want to dilute that expertise by starting to say, ‘OK, now I can sell everything under the sun.’ And we hear you, and we think that’s super important,” Saks said.

AppDirect's Dan Saks

AppDirect’s Dan Saks

AppDirect brought team members from its AppHelp IT help desk unit to meet partners at WTG’s Tee & Sea event in Scottsdale, Arizona. The e-commerce platform company is making AppHelp and monthly collaborative sessions and webinars available to WTG subagents. The goal is to “turbo boost” their businesses and meet demand for more presale resources.

“What I’ve heard from the community too is that we have a little bit of work to do to help train and enable you to have those conversations and also enable you to think through unique ways to ‘merchandize’ these service offerings,” he said.

AppDirect bought WTG last year and moved it into its new AppSmart unit, which contains also-purchased NeoCloud. As Saks has told Channel Futures, he hopes WTG’s agents will function as the human face for AppDirect’s technology platform. Partners are a necessary sales force in Saks’ mind. He has noted multiple times at industry events that AppDirect’s 10-year-history taught him the undeniable value of human relationships in the technology industry.

“One of the key observations we saw was, [the companies that] enabled the agent channels were the most effective at selling and succeeding,” he said.

Channel partners have earned trust from longstanding relationships with customers — enough trust to lead them into and through digital transformation initiatives such as transitioning from MPLS to SD-WAN.

The task requires trust because of its complexity. It’s not simply a matter of buying a more advanced technology, but moving services from hosted environments into public environments.

“As the transformation evolves, there needs to be more support and more handholding, because people aren’t starting from scratch,” Saks said. “They’re actually needing to migrate services from one place to another, and that’s where your support can become even more beneficial and helpful.”

Saks shared data from AppDirect’s Digital Economy Report, which highlighted noticeable differences between verticals with regard to embracing and adopting sweeping technological changes.

The shared value between industries is the importance of digital transformation. The vast majority (79 percent) of businesses responding to the study are going through the process, and the majority of companies in each vertical listed were engaged in transformation efforts.

But there are clear disparities.

Manufactured and financial services trail at 70 percent engaged, behind …

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