A select group of agents came to Rancho Mirage in Palm Springs for WTG’s holiday event, Dec. 5-6, where the master agent treated them to rest and relaxation — and a game-changing announcement.
WTG began the conference with big news; AppDirect is buying it and merging it with cloud services provider NeoCloud.
WTG CEO Vince Bradley explained the implications to partners, and AppDirect co-CEO Daniel made an appearance to put a face to the buyer.
With the announcement out of the way, partners networked with each other and vendors, and went out Thursday afternoon for activities. Scroll through the gallery below to see what went down.
If you’re feeling particularly nostalgic, you can check out Edward Gately’s event gallery from last year.
Drizzly conditions in Rancho Mirage, California, didn't stifle the holiday spirit. WTG
hosted subagents and vendors at its event at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa. Attendees came for leisure, relaxation, networking vendor presentations and a big announcement.
WTG CEO Vince Bradley addressed attendees with big news to begin the summit: AppDirect
is buying WTG and merging it with a company called NeoCloud.
Bradley, who will service as vice president of business development for the new unit
, said WTG was more interested in joining a cloud service provider than another master agent.
"In order to transform and be successful in the long term, master agents in the field truly need to partner with technology companies to do more,” he said
Bradley in his new job will pursue M&A opportunities for other master agents who are "interested in an exit strategy."
Van Murray will be the vice president of strategic operations for AppSmart
, the combined company. He explained to partners the history of NeoCloud, where he serves as CEO. Murray said NeoCloud aims to simplify sales process for WTG subagents.
"We want to make it easy to transact," he said. "That shouldn’t be a big part of your day."
Attendees gathered in the hotel for networking and hors d'oeuvres. They later went out for provider-hosted dinners, but the reception's appetizers were plenty filling.
I've often thought that the marker of a premier channel event is those reception stations with really juicy prime rib that you can turn into sliders — and this conference confirmed that.
Subagents began Thursday morning with networking. They chatted with suppliers over their morning meal before going to the keynote.
The co-CEO of AppDirect
introduced himself to partners. Saks, who is a growing figure in the channel
, outlined why his company chose to buy the master agent.
There are multiple reasons, but a major one is the need to cultivate personal relationships with customers. Saks credited WTG's subagents for knowing their clients very well and earning their trust.
"I speak to technology CEOs who said, '10 years ago we thought there was no chance we would embrace the channel and we thought that everyone would buy online. But now less than 5 percent of our revenue is online. It's all through people,'" he said.
Saks sat down with Salwa Scarpone, WTG's vice president of marketing, to answer questions about the acquisition. He also took questions from the partner audience, including inquires about channel conflict and AppDirect's market.
Subagents learned that they will not face channel conflict, as there is no direct access between end users and AppDirect.
Attendees took part in some fun Thursday afternoon. One group went out to hit the greens, and another enjoyed the resort spa.
WTG and conference attendees took the relaxation to another level Thursday night. The evening reception was an opportunity to grab an adult beverage before the awards dinner started.