Blog | July 24, 2014

Channel Transitions Provides Answers To Your As-A-Service Questions

By Mike Monocello, editor-in-chief, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @monocello

Channel Transitions East Panel

Our third event on the topic of transitioning from break-fix to the as-a-service model was held on Tuesday July 22 in Boston. Based on feedback from the initial respondents to our post-event survey, Channel Transitions East was a success. After pouring a lot of sweat into the event, I’m relieved. It’s not that I expected failure. We planned and prepared and prepared even more to set ourselves up to succeed. But there are so many moving parts to an event that you can’t help but wonder what will go wrong. Thankfully, everything was fine.

For me, the highlight of the day came at the end, with our roundtable discussion. I can get up and talk trends all day long. Our keynote and sponsors can tell attendees what they should do. All great advice, but nothing hits closer to home than hearing from companies similar to your own.

Our panelists were:

  • Brian Doyle, VP of IT and Data Center Services for Corserba, a division of PCNet. Since 2001, Doyle’s worked in Managed Services and has converted two VARs to the MSP model.
  • Thomas Clancy Jr., co-founder of Valiant Technology, a New York City-based company founded in 2002 which shifted to managed services in 2007. Last year, Valiant experienced 30% revenue growth in managed services.
  • Hunter Allen, CEO and President of Cervion Systems with offices in New York and Philadelphia. He is recognized as the pre-eminent POS-as-a-Service VAR in the United States.

My questions ranged from dealing with cash flow issues and hiring the right people, to compensating salespeople and dealing with customer objections. All three guys spoke eloquently and passionately about their success and failures.

However, what took the panel to the next level were the questions from the audience. After our first couple events, I’ve learned that it’s better for me to play a more minimal role in the Q&A and let the audience ask their questions. Doing so gives attendees the ability to get answers to the most burning questions plaguing them.

The audience questions came fast and in bursts and created a back-and-forth exchange that promoted even more candor from the panelists. Before anyone knew it, the Q&A felt less like a conference panel and more like a few guys sitting around a bar swapping war stories.

As the panel wrapped up, the bar-like feeling became a reality when the Hilton event staff rolled in the liquor station and finger foods for our closing reception. While the panelists and I reached the end of our time on stage, they continued to field questions from attendees over beer and wine for the next two hours.

If you haven’t attended one of our Channel Transitions events, you’re missing out. The good news is that we have one left in 2014. Our Midwest event will be held on October 7, 2014 in Chicago. If you can attend, bring your as-a-service questions and I'll make sure you find your answers.

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