Accreditation – A burden or a blessing

Vendor accreditation programmes – who are they really for?

1. Customers?
2. Channel partners?
3. Vendors?
4. All three?

Why does a customer care if their supplier is accredited by the vendor of the product, solution or service?
Why does a channel partner care whether they are Bronze, Silver, or Gold certified?
Why does the vendor need to create training and certification material, courses, tests etc?

It all sounds a lot of work, so why does anyone bother?

There must be some significant value in order to motivate everyone to care enough to get engaged – so what is it?

Customers are what this is all about! Customers require good advice from well informed representatives from the channel community and the channel community cannot rely on the resources of the vendor at every engagement they have, so the channel partners need to become equally well informed – This requires training and testing, which is great for the vendor, because they end up with well informed channel partners representing them and provides the scale required to develop more market coverage. In addition, an accreditation programme usually has a volume\revenue related metric, which rewards the successful sales partner – more of a value component than a quality component and an often thorny topic for engineering heavy partners with lots of skills but not too many new sales. Customers are usually able to see for themselves what partner accreditations are for channels and select based on a value\quality blend. In reality most customers want to know they will be well looked after rather than well sold to.
For the vendor, an accreditation programme provides a sense for channel partner commitment levels and focus on their portfolio, and training enables current knowledge to be maintained and product knowledge to be broadly well ingrained. The more a channel partner commits to one vendor programme, the less time and resources they will have for competing offers – stands to reason. So vendors see this as an important dynamic for developing partner commitments. Ultimately this enables scale and quality delivery for the customers and commitment for the vendor, with the reseller having the ability to wrap services and complementary products to their solution.

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Practice does not make perfect

Like all walks of life – work, sport, school – if you are practicing the wrong things, or the wrong way of doing something, you are simply repeating your errors over and over – frustrating and clearly limiting your success.

So how do you stay on track with the right things to practice? Clearly a good start point is to exercise good self discipline. This is the foundation for any personal development. Thinking that the issue is “not my fault” and the issue is caused by something “out there somewhere” is a sure fire way to have reduced control of your life. The first step therefore is to take control of yourself and your discipline including your thoughts and “self-talk”. Be sure to catch yourself talking positively with a “can do” attitude, and stop the cannot do and self limiting speak.
Finding a good coach is a smart step too – whether this is within your current role or an objective outsider. A good coach understands that as an individual, you already have all the necessary resources available to you, but they are the difference, that makes the difference.
For example, if I’m playing golf and struggling to get the results I desire, it probably makes sense to have a coach watch what I do in order to help reflect the areas for improvement – I recall this very real example where the golf pro explained to me (after watching me for a while) that he saw the problem with my game. He noted that I was trying to hit the ball…. Seemed initially to be a ridiculous comment…on closer inspection however, he was absolutely right. He went on to explain to me that if I swing the club, the club will hit the ball…. He moved my focus away from my desire to knock the ball into next week (and missing badly), into simply swinging the club accurately and all would work out.. On this occasion, I saw an instant improvement, but of course, the challenge is to keep making those improvements regularly and being consistent. This is something that your coach can bring to your performance.
This same coaching approach will produce a similar effect in sales. The challenge is that many sales managers and business owners are not well equipped to fulfill his role, so your best option is to find an external coach and develop the right habits.

Sorry, I can’t hear you….

I daresay, we’ve all experienced the issues that traditional meeting room audio presents. You can’t always be heard by the remote parties and so the meetings become somewhat dysfunctional.

The traditional meeting room consists of a television screen, a camera, and an audio device. The latter generally offers a very directional capability – fine if you’re all able to huddle around it. Increasingly however, as we collaborate and need to share information, sitting mannequin-like around a table just doesn’t cut it.

So the answer lies in innovative audio technology from Nureva.

The solution is to ensure that there are more microphones in the meeting space. Nureva manage this with their “microphone mist” technology, which uses software to flood the meeting space with virtual microphones. This clever technology self-calibrates and delivers 8192 virtual microphones ensuring that the meeting participants within the meeting room can be heard by the remote parties wherever they move within the room.

This technology is set to revolutionise the meeting experience for remote parties, and productivity is set to soar.

The great news for those who want to”hear it for themselves” is that they can do so without ever leaving their office chair.

Ask me how tellmemore@trustbusinesspartners.com

Transformation – things have changed

Digital transformation means many different things to different people and there is a glut of offerings in the market currently that promise you a life of luxury if you take their latest solution for your transformation journey. One of the most impactful solutions that I have witnessed is one I will write about here; It’s from a vendor called Nureva and is available exclusively here in the UK from distributor Ascentae.

Nureva Span is a cloud-based software (and hardware) solution – simply a licence that enables collaboration on any device anywhere you can connect to the internet.

So what?

Well this is the really cool part (as if that wasn’t already cool enough) – Span is a virtual canvas – a virtual white board that allows users from wherever they are, to write, draw, or place virtual Post-IT™ notes onto the virtual board. Share desktop content, add comments with virtual INK, and even follow other users who are leading a discussion – so you are quite literally ALL ON THE SAME PAGE. All users connected to the “canvas” see all of added content and contributions, as you would if you were all in the same office sticking physical notes onto a physical wall and writing comments with a marker pen.

Because this is a virtual canvas, there is no issue with Post-IT™ notes falling off the wall, or the issue that many security conscious business experience, in that the physical office with the physical Post-IT™ notes must be secured when empty and cannot be accessed….. With Span, you simply close the canvas and it is secure.

Take this to another level, and SPAN can be used on physical touch screen panels – multiple panels connected in software to provide a scrolling wall covering of virtual canvas. Huge real-estate for collaborators to work together on, in the same location, joined by remote participants in other locations with similar hardware components, or sat on a lounger connected via Wi-Fi or 4G on an iPad or similar device…..

This opens so many possibilities for commercial enterprises as well as for education – imagine a collaboration session finishing without the need to take your smartphone and take photos of the walls for some poor sole to spend several hours deciphering and writing up to share amongst the collaborators – That is digital transformation

Interested to learn more or perhaps have a demonstration – then drop me a note and I’ll be happy to arrange

Trust Strike Ascentae Deal

Creative Workspace SolutionsTrust Business Partners has announced a new contract with Ascentae to support growth into the UC VAR space. Trust will provide business consulting services to support the growth strategy of Ascentae, a fledgling UK distributor of AV equipment and services.

David Pitts and Graham Bunting will be working with Jon Knight of Ascentae to promote CREATIVE WORKPLACE SOLUTIONS as a key differentiator for UC VAR’s to sell more to their existing customers and make them stickier.

It’s a debate that many businesses face as they ponder the possibilities of digital transformation. How can the benefits of greater collaboration be embraced without losing all paper-based processes? The business value of improving collaborative opportunities may be obvious, however, there seems to be a degree of apprehension when it comes to transferring to digital. One major barrier to change is workplace culture and the reluctance to introduce new technology for fear of disrupting tried and tested processes. Organisations want to take small steps towards a new working world rather than a giant leap to overhaul existing practices.

Ascentae’s exclusive distribution agreements include the Nureva HDL300 Audio conferencing technology. At the heart of the HDL300 is Microphone Mist technology, which fills the room with 8,192 virtual microphones.

Listening to all microphones simultaneously, it dynamically selects the one closest to the speaker, ensuring the best quality sound for remote listeners.

“Trust and integrity are the foundations of partnerships,’ says Graham Bunting ‘and we are looking forward to working with Ascentae to help grow and expand their business.”

When selling isn’t selling

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a perspective that says we are all selling at some time or other despite the fact that our role title may not have the word “sales” in it.

I have worked with a wide range of different people with differing skills and life perspectives and occasionally there was a tacit understanding that whilst the “sales team” carried a responsibility for the “number”, everyone had a responsibility as a representative of the company to present a positive external image to the World at large and in so doing increased the potential for businesses to want to work with us.

This has not always been the case, and at the other extreme, I have experienced the silos of “you are sales” we are….. etc. Whilst I am not saying that this is right or wrong, what I am intending to highlight is the fact that I believe, we all have a responsibility as a member of the business team to take the job of representing the business as positively as we can as “ambassadors” if you will. In so doing, it is my belief that this will create a wave of good-will that can only be positive. Remember of course that the reach of social media can play a big role in this and everyone in the business knows people – very often people of influence and potential customers for your business’s services or products.

Make sure you are a person of value to yourself and your business and ultimately you are contributing to the success of the organisation – PLEASE don’t just leave it to the sales team

Are you taking this seriously?

The scramble is on – only 48 days to go for you to guide the ship to a state of compliance. The GDPR notification was set almost 2 years ago, and for most, this seemed what it was, years away. However, the day of reckoning is arriving, and you’ve not done anywhere near enough have you? The LARGE fines are taking centre stage and they are very worrying, aren’t they?
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My advice to you, however, is DO NOT PANIC. You do however need to get started and ensure that you are in a more prepared state than you are right now – The stress and inertia of doing nothing is the challenge and once you do start, the stress will disappear and you will feel much better that you took action.

So delay no more – www.geckocompliance.com will get you started and be your constant companion on the journey to GDPR and beyond