Category: Events

Partners can collaborate in an educational ecosystem at Ultimate Partner Training.

Get Inside UPT: A Day by Day Account

Have you ever wondered what Ultimate Partner Training is really like? Two MicroCorp Strategic Partner Managers — David Burgeson and Monica Lester — journaled their experiences during UPT last year to give you a taste. Read their real-time, day-by-day accounts to get a feel for what’s in store this year for partners!

Day One:

David:
We kicked off Ultimate Partner Training today, and the classroom is full of attendees from all over the country. The excitement and desire learn about the data center, colocation and security businesses is off the charts! The talent among this group is clearly evident for best practices, and new ideas are being shared as partners are forging new relationships. Looking forward to a great Day 2.

Monica:

As a trusted advisor to many MicroCorp partners, I made the commitment to invest in my own data center and cloud computing education by spending a week engaged at Ultimate Partner Training. It’s day 1, and already I can feel the energy and enthusiasm to learn and succeed in this space of technology from everyone. Looking forward to diving in to the history and evolution of technology, and learning how to assist my partners even better in this space. We will all be chanting, “I love data center” once we see the ROI from our training investment. 

Day Two:

David:

AM session

Day 2 started with Todd Smith presenting on the various business and pricing models within data center providers. Whether the business model is wholesale, retail or both, Todd Smith emphasized that properly negotiating power, space and cooling costs is a must between the customer and provider.  

Paul Carrico continued the training to cloud where everything is “as a Service”: Hosting-aaS, Infrastructure-aaS, Software-aaS, Platform-aaS, and Infrastructure-aaS. When architecting a solution for a public, private, hybrid or hyper-converged solutions, scoping the right requirements is a must. Client engagements begin with what applications are they using and why. 

PM session

Cyrus One, VxChnge, Cologix, Telstra, Level 3 and Greenhouse Data are sitting on the Hot Seat Panel. Tough questions from the audience! Usually providers talk about their strengths, but a question was asked what their weaknesses are. I can’t go into detail here but it was rather interesting.

Scott Kelly with Windstream is now talking about SD-WAN, and he says “All roads lead to the cloud:  Rapid growth in data, apps and connected ‘things’.” 

Some great things about SD-WAN:

  • Money to be made with SD-WAN:  $6B by 2020 per IDC.
  • Gives complete visibility
  • Real-time control
  • Plug and Play ability
  • Active/active connectivities
  • Any type of access
  • Scalable
  • Goal of 100%

But the realities are that SD-WAN:

  • Will not replace MPLS
  • Cannot guarantee QoS
  • Is not WAN optimization

Monica:

Not all data centers are created equally. Today I gained a better understanding of the differentiators amongst our data center providers. Telstra, Cologix, Xchange, Greenhouse Data, Level 3, CyrusOne….just to name a few from our line card. Now I am empowered to help my partners better in matching the right provider for their clients. A fun fact I learned was the least expensive data center space can be found in Quincy, Washington. Why? Lowest cost for power at 3.5 cents!!! 

Day Three

David

AM session

A contest for How to Frame Questions and Team 5  is in the lead. This is proving to be harder than it appears….Teams 3 and 4 are catching up.

Jeff, founder of Bigleaf now talking about SDWAN. The SDWAN market is getting crowded with providers trying to position themselves uniquely. Jeff says get out of speed and feeds discussion, but what are the applications?

He says — though SDWAN is causing different conversations about MPLS, MPLS was disrupted by the data center and cloud. SD-WAN and network security are inter-related. To stay relevant, SD-WAN and security must be part of any technology conversations.

The agent channel has a great opportunity to be the trusted advisor for their clients with SD-WAN and to make money on it.

PM session

Windstream is doing a live demo of their SD-WAN service. The management portal is collecting data on everything and touching their network. 11+ Android devices are hitting a non-productive website. He just disconnected a circuit while on a live VoIP call, and the failover was seamless. This is a must-have for customers who run a lot of apps on the cloud.

Monica:

We have reached the topic of SD-WAN, presented by Bigleaf! This segment is most important to maintain my relevance in the marketplace. With the movement to the cloud, an alternative for MPLS was desired, and SD-WAN allows us to build a solid network to many locations, hosting vital applications and enhancing effectiveness. I endorse Bigleaf as a solid provider — they go the extra mile for my partners to help them gain comfort with this new technology and will do the heavy lifting to provide the solutions to the end-users. 

 Day Four

David:

Just completed our team role-playing competition based on actual customer situations. Each team consisted of 3 attendees and there are 6 teams. The objective was to dig for information from the judges and apply what we learned to identify SDWAN, data center, colo, security, hosting, and cloud applications. We are awaiting to see which team won. 

This was the most interactive training ever. Thoroughly enjoyed the people here.  As we conclude UPT, the spirit of partnership is alive and well. Relationships matter!

 Monica:

It’s the last day of UPT, and it’s the first training of my career where I can walk away feeling as though I have the knowledge, resources, excitement, and hunger to aggressively help my partners tackle this segment of the market and succeed in new revenue in the DC space.

Today was a competitive day where we displayed selling skills coupled with knowledge gained on solutions in a real-world customer scenario. As part of Team 5, we came in 2nd place. Practice and experience leads to success in all aspects of life. The practice I’ve learned from UPT is priceless, and — not to mention — what a great group of folks to spend my week with!

Contact MicroCorp today to learn more about Ultimate Partner Training.

One on One: Work Hard, Play Hard

Helicopters and Bourbon Tasting, need I say more?! Of course, your One on One “In The Cloud” experience will be fun and exciting. But, don’t worry, we will also ensure that you have plenty of time for informative education sessions, provocative keynotes, and individual meetings with your peers and industry leaders. You don’t want to miss anything we have planned. Take a look at just a few items in store for attendees!

Focus on Our Top Sellers

One on One weekend begins with recognition of our FastStart Achievers. FastStart celebrates the partners that kicked their sales into high gear during the first half of 2017, and many are now focusing on achieving President’s Club! This pack of sales experts will be enjoying a VIP, “In The Cloud” experience all weekend long, and will be enjoying executive rooms and fancy dinners alongside their over-performing peers.

We strive to build a community environment by connecting partners that share the same challenges and level of success. It’s the type of learning that can’t be put into a presentation or training session. Your FastStart and President’s Club Achievers have a unique opportunity to spend real quality time with their peers and select providers in an environment that fosters an open and honest exchange of knowledge and expertise.

First Day In

Day one kicks off with two high-impact sessions – “The Anatomy of a Wildly Successful Lead Gen Campaign,” and “Partners at Their Peak.” Our high energy guest speaker will help you understand how to drive a lead gen campaign that will put you in the running for next year’s FastStart Club, and might even help you join us for this year’s President’s Club in Los Cabos, Mexico! The power-packed session on lead gen is followed by a couple of world-class partners that will provide their insight on how they built — and continue to build — highly successful agencies. Their companies encompass traditional telecom while rapidly adopting new services, technologies, and market avenues that will sustain their growth and provide long-term success for their teams and personal finances.   

Once we have your heads spinning from the high impact afternoon sessions, it is time to really head Into the Cloud. We will all head over to beautiful Ventana’s — a glass-enclosed event center that faces the new Mercedes Benz stadium. Join us for some amazing food, lots of great drinks, and a spectacular view from the outdoor terrace while we watch helicopters landing and taking off over our heads. We’re confident there will be some perfect selfie opportunities while you circle above downtown Atlanta in chartered helicopters as the sun sets over the Empire City of the South. You don’t want to miss this opening night!

Day 2 – Business as You Like It

Day 2 is our official business session with a week’s worth of content compressed into a day. There’s a little bit of everyone’s favorite throughout the day – Lisa Miller of Level 3 will keynote, our president Phil Keenan imparts his English sensibilities, and there’s even a battle-round between providers. But with all due respect to prepared presentations, the partner favorite continues to be the roundtable sessions where partners lead the discussions, decide the topics, and get into what really makes a difference in building a successful business. The partner roundtable sessions not only validate partners’ feelings about their challenges, it opens their eyes to new ideas, new solutions, and new friends in the business.

Day 2 closes with a lively expo and high-energy recognition banquet for our top sales performers. Get ready for a truly different experience during dinner and the award ceremonies. Sorry, I can’t say any more, you need to be there to experience it and take home a bit of the fun.  

Learn more about One on One and register here for this must-attend event.

2017’s One on One: Where Steel Sharpens Steel

MicroCorp's One On One is where channel partners get the tools they need to succeed.In 2016, the biggest response from our partners after our annual One on One event regarded the community feeling they experienced. They felt the value in an environment that encouraged learning. This year, we are embracing that response, and aiming to make our event on September 10th and 11th a “partner One on One” not a MicroCorp One on One.

By that I mean, this event is for fostering the relationships that our partners have built over the years. We want them to make new relationships, revisit old ones, and learn from the experts. We are framing this year’s event around the family and community of our partner environment, and we want all attendees to share their knowledge.

Expanding the conversation

Last year, our round table event had partners and experts sharing their experiences and advice. It was the one session where I had to force people to leave because they were finding so much value in engaging with each other. We are aiming to recreate that space again this year where partners can share their concerns and expertise.

The benefits of attending the One on One and getting access to this unique community include:

  • Learning from industry peers and colleagues
  • Building sales opportunities
  • Forming new relationships
  • Engaging with experts from the MicroCorp team
  • Getting personal time with industry leaders

You are not alone

One on One is unique because the conversations don’t involve providers hitting you with a sales pitch. This year will be no different. We want partners to feel connected and comfortable, knowing that their problems are not theirs alone, but are shared among others.

Let’s share intelligence, help each other understand the industry, and offer best practices. We’re going to keep with the spirited fun that One on One is all about, too. We look forward to seeing folks we haven’t seen all year. Stay tuned in the next blog for updates on which speakers, and sessions will be a part of One on One this year. And register here to be a part of this industry-leading event.