Partners Win Big in Vegas

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TAKING A CUE FROM ITS host city, the Spring 2006 Channel Partners Conference & Expo focused on winning. Exhibitors, speakers and even the show host, PHONE+, got into the action with themed booths and prize giveaways.

No stranger to victory, former NBA pro and MVP Charles Barkley kicked off the event with a candid Q&A sponsored by Voilà IP Communications Inc. His address was followed by a sneak preview of wireless devices from Samsung, RIM and Danger Inc., that are sure to win over consumers, prosumers and enterprise users in the coming season. And, telecom veteran Dick Jalkut, president and CEO of TelePacific Communications, shared with attendees his assessment of our past and future and what it will take to be successful.

The Spring 2006 event attracted an impressive audience, which was up 15 percent over last springs event in Las Vegas with more than 1,000 new registrants. There also were a record number of exhibitors with more than 30 new vendors on the trade show floor. Without Channel Partners, the industry would be at a loss; theres nowhere that you can meet such a broad spectrum of companies. This is a necessity in the industry, said Michael McLelan, senior vice president for PowerNet Global Communications (PNG). PNG has exhibited since the very first show in July 1997.

Both the sessions and the show were very professional, and everybody I met was happy with the event, said speaker Robert Messer, president of equipment distributor ABP International Inc. I will keep recommending Channel Partners as the best venue for service providers to differentiate themselves and find agents.

Several exhibitors reported signing deals on the show floor, which attested to the success of adding more resellers and wireless dealers to the show invite list. As PHONE+ Group Editor Khali Henderson noted in a speech, attendees were in the right place at the right time. Things are getting more complex, not less, she added. End users are in need of total communications management. Channel partners are an extension of their customers. They are an extension of their vendors. What a great position to be in.

And the Winner is …

Peter Callowhill, CEO, NetGain Communications TAG Heuer Aquaracer watches
Ben Henkels, CEO, Henkels Holdings 42- inch Sony Plasma TV
Curtis Olien, vice president, Theraldson Communications $5,000 Grand Prize

TelePacifics Jalkut agreed. Even though megamergers have narrowed the competitive field considerably and regulatory policies increasingly are pro-RBOC, he said, that should not keep solutions providers from continuing to innovate. There is going to be more opportunity in this market than ever before, thanks to VoIP, wireless and other technologies, he said.

Perhaps one of the most insightful sessions was the panel featuring end users who shared their pains and praises with solutions providers. The overall message was that companies are willing to pay for superior service, want one or two points of contact, and want their resellers and agents to understand their businesses.

In addition to fully packed educational sessions, the Spring 2006 Channel Partners Conference & Expo gave PHONE+ a chance to acknowledge the first graduates of its CSP Certification program, a training series intended to establish an industry standard for solutions providers.

NetGain Communications
PowerNet Global Communications
TelePacific Communications
Tharaldson Communications Inc.
Voilà IP Communications Inc.

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