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The Var and the Vendor

February 25, 2011 — Leave a comment

When I first entered the technology consulting business, my new manager referred to our firm as a VAR (value added reseller).  VAR!  He said it with pride as though it meant something special.  Coming from a large bank where we referred to our services providers as vendors and VARs, I knew this was no complement.  Yet our manager seemed to take pride in something that, on the client side was viewed as a commodity.   I soon learned that, on the provider side, VARs were partnered with vendors, but in my heart, I knew the client perceived us all as one thing – the vendor!  Simply put, we didn’t see any value in those we called vendors and there was no such thing as “Value-Add”; vendors provided people and products at the lowest possible price, and free lunches on occasion. This is not the way to position your company if you are looking to build a profitable business.

© 2011, David Stelzl

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© 2011, David Stelzl

Pizza in Cancun

Here in Cancun, or just south of the Cancun area.  And of course my trip would not be complete without trying the Mexican pizza!  Here is it to the left, served with hot sauce, ketchup,…but not grated cheese.  How does it rank?  Better than the Singapore pizza for sure, not like New York, but par with the India pizza which I had at least 5 times while in Bangalore late last year.  Overall it was a good experience for a quick lunch.

What has made this partner conference special?  Here are few highlights:

1.  First, Eugene Kaspersky running out on stage in his Ferrari Formula 1 racing outfit (of which he is a sponsor).  The question was raised, “How many resellers have dined with, or sat by the pool with the CEO of their strategic manufacturing partners?  It’s a great question – these partners are doing just that this week.  This guy is a real person!

Eugene Kaspersky Live

2.  Concrete information on how to grow your business.  I have had the pleasure of speaking with many partners and channel managers today – this is the recurring theme – the information is relevant.

3. Not too big, not too small.  This event is invitation only, so we have about 250 partners attending this week.  Getting around and meeting people is easy with this kind of crowd, making it easier to network, exchange ideas, and get to know people who are solving similar types of problems throughout the Americas.

4. Grand Velas – what a great destination!  It’s a bit hot, but given the weather in the states this week, who cares.  The meeting rooms are great, services is excellent, and the facilities are five star.  Very nice…(plus the pizza was pretty good).

5. Key take away – this company is committed to driving business through the channel without over distributing.   I’ve met some outstanding people on the Kaspersky side – all of them excited to be a part of this team and working hard to build the business.

Tomorrow I will be speaking first thing in the morning on how to leverage the discovery and assessment process to grow the business.  As with all security technology products, no one wants to spend money on insurance, but when a real need can be shown, sales cycles are quickly shortened.  Look for a recap on YouTube…which I’ll post tomorrow.

© 2011, David Stelzl

In preparation for our final day in the Virtual Making Money w/ Security Workshop I thought this short clip on urgent proposals would be apropos:

© 2011, David Stelzl

After attending and speaking at dozens of channel partner meetings and hundreds of reseller workshops I’ve had opportunity to interview and speak with many business owners and sales people on the topic of value – just how much value is there in attending these events.  Listen to what I’ve learned about channels, resellers, distributors, and vendors…

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Punta Cana – Last Day

February 15, 2010 — Leave a comment

Here’s a short picture of the resort surroundings…while we spent much of our time inside, I did get out for dinner events, snorkeling, and some relaxation!  Did I mention it was hot?

One comment from my session:  Great technology nor great expertise without great messaging, won’t win the deal.