PlanetOne Lives The Dream

By Mike Saxby

Last week, on Nov. 11, I attended the events of PlanetOne’s final stop on its 2009 “Living the Dream” Telecom Tour. Unlike one centralized event, the tour is PlanetOne’s smart way to involve partners nationwide by enabling them to attend an event closer to their hometowns. Therefore, this event, held at the Gainey Suites Hotel in Scottsdale, Ariz., was mostly comprised of local and regional attendees. There were also a lot of channel newbies, as this year’s event definitely saw an uptick in local VAR and systems integrator attendance.

Cheryl Babic, regional sales manager for ACC Business, addresses a packed house.

The day kicked off with a continental breakfast and opening remarks from PlanetOne CEO Ted Schuman, followed by a morning of vendor presentations on their individual channel programs, offerings and support abilities.

Jessica MayoPike, One Communications, and PlanetOne’s Jodi Williams, Krista Puckett and Mary Loeffler take a ride on the course.

In the afternoon, everyone headed for a four-man scramble golf tournament at the Gainey Ranch Resort. Lucky golfers Ryan Kelly from NetWolves and Frank Reyes from XO Communications won awards for the longest drive, and TriCom Solutions’ Bryan Deley walked away with closest to the pin honors.

Virgo Publishing’s Mike Saxby, Nationwide Security’s Eddie Castellano, and Sonoran Integrations’ Seth Miley and Dan Coulter take a break from the game.

After a few hours of putting around, there was a 19th hole-type celebration from 6 to 8 p.m. at the clubhouse, complete with cocktails and casino games. Nick Mulholland from Zoom Communications brought home the bacon by being the big Blackjack winner.

PlanetOne’s Sheri Dogra and Mary Loeffler, along with Chris Means of Means Telecom and Jeff Barnes of Triple Digit Communications hit the tables after a long afternoon of golf.

Overall, there were about 10 vendors present, along with 50-60 participants. I considered the event to be very successful because it gave existing partners the ability to get caught up on the goings on of the vendors they were working with, along with learning more about the ones they weren’t selling – and everyone had a little fun in the process! And the vendors agreed as well!

Rick Ribas, PlanetOne COO, closes in on the green.

“Level 3 is excited to be a part of the 2010 preferred vendor program with PlanetOne,” said Craig Patterson, regional director of sales for the indirect sales channel at Level 3 Communications. “Being at the event this week in Scottsdale solidified that decision. The direct feedback we received from the agents at the event has energized our partnership and we feel together we will produce great results in 2010.”

PAETEC’s Jerry Tedino concentrates on his putt.

“The ‘Living The Dream’ Telecom Tour was a day filled with great networking and fun,” added Ryan A. Kelly, vice president, NetWolves. “As a new vendor to PlanetOne, this was a great opportunity for us to spend time with their agents, staff as well as other vendors. We are very excited about our new partnership and we are looking forward to participating in more events in 2010.”

Attendees gather in the networking area to greet fellow partners during session breaks.

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