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Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Profitable Alliances

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Lorna Garey

Lorna Garey

As I write this, I’m on my way from Boston to Santa Clara, California, to host a workshop on IoT and the Channel as part of the 2018 Internet of Things World conference.

Attendees at last month’s Channel Partners Conference & Expo had the opportunity to sit in on an IoT security session presented by my colleague, Brian Buntz, content director of the IoT Institute. And of course, the Channel Partners and Channel Futures teams are working closely together to support the full partner ecosystem, from agent to VAR and everyone in between. We’re queuing up content initiatives that draw “voice of the customer” perspectives from another sister site, IT Pro Today, whose senior director of content, Sue Troy, will also be helping out in Santa Clara.

You might call it an editorial riff on a classic omnichannel strategy.

It’s not altruism driving busy editors to fly cross-country. Each site and event has its own revenue and traffic or attendance goals, but we’ve decided that we can serve our customer – you – better by bringing together diverse expertise. We’re not alone in that calculation. M&A activity is up among partners, suppliers and master agents and distributors.

Given all that togetherness, it’s appropriate that our 2018 Channel Partners Evolution conference will be held in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. Registration opens very soon.

Of course, cooperation and even coopetition have their limits. We can’t blame an MSP for shying away from introducing a direct rival to a customer, even if that competing partner offers a service the incumbent lacks. But Kris Blackmon recently wrote about agents and VARs that are catching on to the benefits of forming partnerships that allow them to broaden their reach and service portfolios, either by white-labeling each other’s services or trading referrals among one another as the need arises.

The marketer’s definition of an omnichannel model is integrating multiple sales channels into a single, seamless experience for the customer. Ideally, an omnichannel approach allows customers to buy products using any one of multiple methods or technologies. The key aspect is integration across channels that unifies the purchasing experience. Customers want that. And at CP Evolution, we’ll show you how to get there through our content, and we’ll introduce you to a new group of partners by hosting our first MSP 501 Awards ceremony. You’ll see new exhibitors and speakers too. Pax8 VP of sales Nick Heddy will discuss how to compensate your sales team for selling cloud services, and we’ll host our first voice of the customer keynote panel.

There’s much more on the drawing board; my colleague, T.C. Doyle, provides more insights here. What would help you pull together an omnichannel set of product and services that delight customers and get you more than your fair share of profits? Tell me in comments, and sign up here to be notified when registration opens.


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