Fifteen channel leaders… Seventeen channel educational sessions…Three Mastermind taster sessions…Five social networking activities…One power panel discussion on channel future-proofing…Two days…It all added up to one valuable experience for the channel partners who attended the recent VARTrends/Transmentum event in Milton Keynes, UK, on March 1-2.
It’s a new type of channel partner event in Britain that’s designed to help VARs and MSPs to better streamline, manage and market their businesses as well as build sustainable recurring revenue. In one of my presentations, I outlined ten trends that are driving the success of the next generation channel. Partners who exploit these trends will have a greater chance of future-proofing their businesses. The first step is to know what you do not know. The second step is about adapting your business to leverage these trends before your competition does.
I also hosted a panel discussion with Alex Tatham, Managing Director of Westcoast; Carl West, Supply Chain Director GFK; Adam Harris and Paul Fileman, business coaches from Transmentum; And, Richard Tubb, founder of Tubblog. All stakeholders from UK’s IT Channel were represented – distribution, research, news media and business coaches. The panel also answered questions from the audience of VARs and MSPs.
Overall, everyone was optimistic about the future growth of the UK channel. However, channel partners are facing some significant challenges as they transition their business to be part of the next generation channel. Alex Tatham said, “channel partners need to get more into selling cloud solutions like Microsoft’s and ensure that their automated billing for recurring services are in order”.
“Partners must figure out how to transition their businesses into recurring revenues in order to remain relevant in the channel but a big part of their success will be determined by their execution of the tasks” commented Carl West. Business coaches Adam Harris and Paul Fileman work every day with many VARs and MSPs to help them improve their companies to reach their business and personal goals. “Channel partners need to know what they want to achieve in their company as well as in their personal lives – where do you want to be in 3 to 5 years? ”, added Adam Harris.
Richard Tubb added, “MSPs should be focused on getting closer to the core business needs of their clients and leverage a variety of managed services to save costs and improve efficiencies. Helping the end customers to reduce risks and downtime of their technology infrastructure will fuel their success and entrench your relationship”. A big part of the overall panel discussion focused on the importance of executing the plan properly.
Watch the video interviews with these and other experts at www.ecntv.tv.
Three recurring revenue opportunities were featured at the event. Adam Nash, EMEA Sales Manager of Webroot showed how VARs and MSPs can help protect their clients from a variety of serious IT security threats. Andrew Stuart, EMEA Managed Director of Datto, presented the value of offering business continuity and how it just may be the last line of defense against major disasters including “ransomware”.
Most MSPs are challenged in building their managed services team. The development, management and cost can quickly get out of control. Prakash Chaudhari, CEO of an outsource provider of Network Operations Centre (NOC) outlined the main reasons for MSPs to leverage a third-party provider through a private label partnership. Ultimately, it should help them to scale faster at a much lower cost, while delivering top-level managed services support.
Delegates also got a chance to ask questions and pick the brains of many experts on a variety of topics including digital marketing, business vision, elevator pitch, lead-generation, sales process, recruiting and retaining employees. The MasterMind workshops allowed them to get immediate practical help to their most urgent problems.
Adam Harris also went through a business assessment process with the delegates to help them get a better grip on their individual strengths and weaknesses. It was part of the launch of UK’s 50 Best Managed IT Companies. All VARs and MSPs are invited to take a comprehensive business assessment test at www.bestmanageditcompanies.co.uk. Eight Judges will review their applications. The 50 British companies with the highest scores will be recognized and receive an elite award on September 27 in London. All applicants will receive a free report on their business strengths and weaknesses so they may improve their company.
If you would like to receive a digital conference guide outlining all the seminars, speakers and companies from the event, please make a request at VARtrends.
If you missed out on this first opportunity of the year to help build a more successful business, then plan to be at our next event in Britain, on June 21-22. See www.vartrends.com for more details and to register.