From The Editor | September 4, 2013

Ready To Drink At Austin's ASCII Success Summit

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By Jim Roddy, president, Business Solutions magazine

ASCII Logo (Hi Res)

I know what you’re thinking reading that headline  I’m ignoring the education sessions because I’m focused instead on consuming adult beverages at the upcoming ASCII Success Summit, scheduled for Sept. 18-19 in Austin, Texas.

Actually, the opposite is true.I’m ready to “drink from the firehose” because the educational intinerary for the Austin Success Summit features a list of sessions that could be overwhelming to consume in a 10-hour stretch. The Sept. 19 agenda includes 16 rapid-fire seminars sandwiching a two-hour solutions pavilion and networking lunch.

I’m going to use my smart phone to live tweet from the event (take a minute to follow @Jim_Roddy and @BSMinfo now), so I may need to see the chiropractor to adjust my thumbs afterwards.

Looking at the agenda, three presentations caught my attention because I think they’re vital topics for our channel:

  • “Four Key Profit Opportunities” by Rob Rae, VP of Business Development for Datto: I’m privileged to talk with solution providers on both ends of the “as a Service” business model spectrum. Some are sophisticated managed services pioneers while others are just now sorting through the alphabet soup of PSA, RMM, and BDR. Rae plans to deliver “an overview on strategies and technologies that top-performing MSPs and those new to the managed services market can employ to win business, target new revenue, lower operating costs, and better manage the entire IT experience for customers.” Every solution provider I talk with is engaged in the battle to accomplish those four outcomes.
  • “Your Sales Pipeline Are You Running Your Sales Program Or Is It Running You” by business-to-business sales coach Gil Cargill: When I talk with vendor executives about where their channel partners need the most improvement, sales and marketing usually tops the list. Cargill’s preview of his session doesn’t pull any punches: “All IT resellers, VARs, MSPs, and consultants have sales programs, even if they are a one-person company. The purpose of this presentation is to help you become aware of the fact that you do indeed have a sales program. More often than not, (especially in our community) the program is disorganized, unfocused, and therefore unmanageable.”
  • “Staying Relevant Ensuring Your IT Expertise Matters” by Jerry Koutavas, President of The ASCII Group: This session promises that solution providers will “learn how to increase your visibility by leveraging marketing tools geared to help you stay relevant with your customers and potential clients.” Didn’t I just say how sales and marketing are weak points of most VAR/MSP organizations? I’m thrilled to see ASCII is dedicating one session to sales and a separate block of time to marketing.

I recommend you attend this Success Summit and stay tuned to BSMinfo.com for content related to these important channel topics.

For complete coverage of the ASCII Success Summit in Austin, go to www.BSMinfo.com/go/InsideASCII. To see the complete agenda and to register for the event, go to http://www.asciievents.com/itinerary-.html.

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