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AT&T, Comcast, Spectrum, Cox Praise Partner Efforts

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… SD-WAN in the last three months. Schlagbaum also noted a large number of ethernet deals – including many multisite opportunities – that Comcast and its partners have landed.

“It seems that customers are starting to buy again, and they’re starting to operationalize, even in their locations,” he said.

A Vicious Cycle

Not everyone shared such an optimistic view of the pandemic. Scott Galloway, a New York University marketing professor, shared a copious amount of data that shows how COVID-19 is exacerbating inequality in the U.S.

Galloway said the massive stimulus package hasn’t worked for the people who need it most.

Galloway, Scott

Scott Galloway

“We’re in the midst of a crisis that is killing more people faster than any crisis in history, and people are saving more money than they ever have before. And yet we feel a need to flush the economy with stimulus. I think this alone shows that the stimulus was misguided and that it’s not getting to the right people.”

The stock market exemplifies this disconnect, according to Galloway. Galloway said many people have chosen to open trading accounts with their $1,200 check from the government. And where do they invest? In “story stocks,” which Galloways describes as companies that receive media coverage and earn the “disruptor” label.

“And as a result, you’re seeing these companies accelerate to multiples that are just unprecedented. Effectively the marketplace has decided that stocks are no longer numbers-and-narrative. They’re narrative-and-numbers,” Galloway said. “That is, if you have a good reputation and if you’re on CNBC and perceived as a disruptor, you get an irrational multiple. And if you’re perceived old economy or declining, the market just hammers you relentlessly.”

Consider that Apple reached $1 trillion in value in 2018, 42 years after inception. That number has since doubled. And Big Tech, which Galloway roasted in his talk, has benefited very much from this trend.

“If you want to determine how Tesla’s stock is going to do tomorrow, just try to determine how many Robinhood accounts are opened today. I don’t think this story ends well. I think this is largely being fueled by a lot of young men who are bored, who have additional money in their pocket, who are prone to addiction and gambling and are levering up with pull-put options and margins by buying story stocks.”

From this 26-year-old male author who started a Robinhood this year — oof.

Galloway made an interesting comment when asked about areas of investment that partners should pursue. He pushed back slightly on the idea of artificial intelligence being the key to customer experience. He argued that although AI can help augment business processes, the best sort of customer experience occurs at the hands of well-compensated and cared-for employees.

“The greatest technology ever invented is organic intelligence,” he said.

Live Event

Sandler Partners managing partner Alan Sandler greeted the partner audience on Tuesday morning. He and event host Linzie Janis broadcast from his house. They used Frontier connectivity and Spectrum cable to ensure redundancy for the stream. The master agent brought in numerous telecom and IT carriers for keynote sessions and a virtual expo hall.

Sandler Partners' Alan Sandler

Sandler Partners’ Alan Sandler

Sandler noted big changes that have occurred in 2020 for the Hermosa Beach, California-based firm. For example, Sandler has added 30 employees since January — a 30% increase. In particular, Sandler has increased its marketing department from one to six people. The company also is working to build more of an online presence, as is much of the industry.

Sandler credited his company’s commissions department as one of the reasons the master agent landed in the IInc. 5000 for the 11th straight year.

“I always said, we keep our head down, we are …

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