Exceeding Expectations

There is a 15-year-old boy living in my house who claims to be my son. For those of you who have teens, you will understand when I say sometimes they do things that make you think that an alien has sucked the brains from their heads and snatched their bodies.

This particular child is impressed with himself as are most 15-year-olds. He gets straight As, runs for the cross country team and can recite every episode of Sponge Bob verbatim. He also is a tightwad. (I am not sure where he gets this from since his father is inclined the other way.) So as is often the case at our home on a Friday night, we ordered pizza with the intention of borrowing the cash to pay for it from our son, who always has a couple of large bills in his wallet. On Sept. 16, however, the child, Arien, says he has no money.

His father understanding this is a very unusual state of affairs inquires about what could possibly make him part with nearly $200. I donated it to the Katrina Relief Fund, he said.

The reason I like this story is not because it makes me look like a good parent although that is a nice benefit but that it speaks to expectations, or rather exceeding expectations. My son did. We all can as family, friends, employees, employers and even as business partners.

That is why I am so proud that PHONE+ and CSP Network rolled out its new Converged Solutions Provider Certification Program at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in September. Its intent is to raise the standards of partner sales professionals and to help partners exceed customer expectations every day.

Why PHONE+? Well, why not? We are an independent group. And there is a void in the marketplace for vendorneutral training. While we and our training partners IPx Connect and Telecom Solution Center are compensated for delivering the program, the low price point of $149 per class is designed to make the education program accessible even to individual small business owners. Our intent is not to get rich, but to boost the overall health of the marketplace we serve.

We also have taken great pains to make this program well-rounded. Unlike other training programs that only focus on technology, CSP Certification covers sales and telemanagement skills as well.

Responding to early feedback, we have accelerated our class schedule so that CSP Certification can be completed in as few as 90 days thats just two classes per month for three months. In addition, the special show price of $99 is good through Nov. 22.

So, now is the best time to sign up. Visit for more information.

If you have suggestions for how we can improve the program for you or your company, please e-mail me at

editor in chief

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