PlanetOne Communications, the master agent, and cloud and connectivity services provider, last week welcomed approximately 250 partners and supplier reps to Scottsdale, Arizona, the final stop of its year-long Tech Tour, which included visits to Las Vegas; Denver; Newport, California; Austin, Texas; and Mashantucket, Connecticut.
The Scottsdale stop featured a panel of executives from CenturyLink, Masergy and Rackspace, talking SD-WAN, cloud and various business opportunities available from working with those vendors.
Special guest Chris Berman of ESPN took to the stage to entertain the crowd with behind-the-scenes stories from the cable network.
Channel Partners was there. We provide highlights in the image gallery below. When you’re done looking at the pics, read our recap from the event.
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Some photos courtesy PlanetOne
Cue the Alan Parsons Project ...
Doing his best Michael Jordan strut, PlanetOne CEO Ted Schuman emerged with the rest of his team from backstage to the Alan Parsons song that became best known as the Chicago Bulls theme from the '90s. It was just the beginning of a sports-themed event.
No, that isn't a foggy lens on our camera. The fog machine added to the spectacle. No, the fire department didn't have to be called.
This panel featured, left to right: Masergy's Chris Werpy, CenturyLink's Lisa Miller and Rackspace's John Engates. The trio shared their views on how new technologies – most notably SD-WAN and cloud – are impacting their legacy businesses. They also offered advice to the partners in the audience and shared updates on acquisitions their respective companies have made in the past few months.
This audience of PlanetOne partners was pleased to hear about the master agent's success from the past year — success in which many of them have shared.
The company projects 22 percent revenue growth this year, which would be in line with last year. Schuman said PlanetOne is roughly doubling in size every three years. To accommodate the growth, he's looking to hire more sales engineers, channel managers and senior level executive management.
Provider reps were called to the stage to celebrate their success in 2017.
PlanetOne announced a new program for its top partners at the event. They'll be matched up with suppliers in one-on-one meetings that not only give them more access to the providers' executives, but also money to host "swanky, high-end events" that will help them drive more revenue.
AT&T, RingCentral, Telstra and BroadSky Networks will join PlanetOne's Preferred Provider Program in 2018.
Decked out in vintage, yellow ESPN jackets that were en vogue (maybe) when the network launched in the late 1970s, Chris "Boomer" Berman took part in a sports Q&A with Schuman and the audience. Among a number of topics, Berman explained how the entertaining sound effects and player nicknames he used in highlights over the years came to be. Most were just trial and error — if something worked, it worked; if it didn't, he'd try something else.
Berman made one comparison between sportscasting and good sales practices, noting that he always talked "to, or with my audience, not at them."
What's a channel event in a good climate without a round of golf? Without one, it's like it never happened. Attendees got a chance to network on the links and lie about their scores afterward!
If sports talk wasn't enough to get the adrenaline going, attendees got a chance to imagine themselves behind the wheel of these muscle cars. You might call it a prelude to the first stop on the 2018 PlanetOne Tech Tour in Daytona Beach, Florida.