Tag Archives: microcorp

MicroCorp Featured on TMCnet

A feature story on MicroCorp’s growth as a master agent and industry leader was published by Rich Tehrani, CEO of TMCnet. Tehrani explores how MicroCorp has paved the way in the channel for providers and agents to connect for growing sales.

Tehrani writes, “MicroCorp prides itself on being your whole back office or an extension of your current team, allowing customers to focus on growing their business profitably. In addition, their collaborative back office portal, Nautilus helps position them as a trusted, skilled partner for a national network of agents, MSPs and VARs.”

See the feature story here on TMCnet.

Disaster recovery is one way to lead your customers to the cloud conversation.

Courting Customers with a Colocation-to-Cloud Strategy

Disaster recovery is one way to lead your customers to the cloud conversation.If your clients aren’t quite ready for cloud, here’s how can you help them go hybrid.

As cloud technology continues to evolve at an incredible rate, many businesses are eager to make the most of remote services and management tools. Some companies, however, are reluctant to upend their existing infrastructure for unfamiliar options. While this can present a serious struggle for agents seeking to bring their customers up to speed, it also opens the door for a conversation about a colocation-to-cloud strategy. And according to Sean Patrick Tario, trainer and VP of the new Cloud Elements Division for MicroCorp, disaster recovery serves as an ideal starting point.

“Many companies don’t have a disaster recovery program in place,” says Tario. “They might have backup, but backup isn’t disaster recovery. If your site goes down, backup means you don’t lose all your data. But with disaster recovery, if your site goes down, it will not stay down for very long, if at all.”

For most companies that own their infrastructure and have it colocated, this presents an opportunity for agents to talk about hosted disaster recovery, which is attractive to businesses because it removes the costly need for physical hardware upgrades. Once an agent starts talking to customers and walking them through how hosted disaster recovery works, that gets them thinking about what other applications can be hosted. And that’s why it’s crucial for agents to be aware of the applications and systems architecture their clients have in place.

“If an agent isn’t talking to their customers about what applications their business is running, they’re never going to get into any kind of cloud conversation,” says Tario. “You have to understand which applications they’re running 24/7/365, and, from there, you can piecemeal which data and applications can be hosted elsewhere versus owned. That’s the ideal way to begin this cloud conversation with a customer.”

Most companies already use Gmail, Salesforce, or Office 365, so they’re already operating a  hybrid environment to some extent. This offers another avenue into the cloud conversation and a discussion about which applications can be hosted elsewhere and which should remain on-premises. “Those are the kinds of key conversations we train agents to have with customers,” says Tario. “We give them a comfort level to start digging down these rabbit holes.”

Another important area to assess is a company’s total cost of ownership. If a company truly wants to cut costs, this is a conversation that must involve where applications are hosted.

“If a company is using physical gear in a colocation environment,” says Tario, “then those servers, switches, and routers are likely a couple of years old and ready for a hardware refresh. And if the customer is looking to do a hardware refresh, you should ask them if they’d consider saving a couple hundred thousands dollars on hardware, and instead renting or leasing that equipment for a fraction of the cost. Then tell them that’s exactly what a hosted environment is.”

Tario also reminds partners that it’s not only companies that pose challenges to a colocation-to-cloud conversation. Fear and insecurity also often prevent partners from pitching the cloud.

“Many partners fear not understanding or knowing what options are out there,” says Tario, “or they’re intimidated by the terminology and unfamiliar with all the acronyms. They’re hesitant to start talking about things they aren’t familiar with, because if a customer asks a question they don’t know the answer to, many partners will want to make something up. The correct answer to give, however, is: ‘That’s a great question. I don’t know the answer, but we have a dedicated team of engineers and solution architects that specialize in the cloud hosting environment, and I’d love to engage with them to have this conversation with you.’

That’s where MicroCorp’s Cloud Elements division comes in. This team specializes in asking customers insightful questions about their specific situations, so they can do due-diligence to determine which service providers offer the most appropriate solutions.

“Unfortunately, we see agents get convinced by some service providers that present themselves as end-all, be-all hosted solutions,” says Tario. “These providers tell agents that if they come across any hybrid opportunities, they should throw them over the fence and let the provider close the deal. In reality, these providers will try to sell clients pre-packaged services, even though those services might not be the ideal solution for the customer.”

That’s why MicroCorp promotes a different approach.

“Partners are doing their customers a disservice by simply throwing the client to the provider for the most critical solutions engineering part of the conversation,” says Tario. “We teach agents to not simply flip opportunities over the fence to a provider. We prefer they engage our Cloud Elements team to do the front-end consulting before they bring in a provider, because this is hands down what is in the best interests of the client and the agent’s long term commission revenue stream.”

There are many ways to approach a colocation-to-cloud conversation with your clients. Hopefully, Sean’s insights can help you more effective position cloud solutions to your customers. Contact MicroCorp and Sean today to learn more.

The Solutions Alliance can connect you with the industry's most knowledgeable partners and providers.

What Value Does the Solutions Alliance Bring to Channel Partners?

Working with an ecosystem of experts is the only way channel partners will survive in this era of ever-changing technology. The Solutions Alliance is one of the ways partners can connect with providers and other partners with specific expertise and experience to ensure their success.

What is the Solutions Alliance?

We cannot all become experts across all subjects within an industry that is infinitely complex and constantly evolving. To put this in perspective, it is impossible for any one person or firm to be an expert plumber, electrician, architect and welder across all residential and commercial building applications. As each project and development is unique and can vary wildly in scale and scope, contractors with specific knowledge and experience are brought in by the general contractor and developer of a project based on specific project needs.

The Solutions Alliance program thus serves as an ecosystem of specialists in specific areas who serve MicroCorp agents. These specialists — while associated with various companies — all remain agnostic in their approach when serving agents. They have also been vetted to bring unbiased value and education to their interactions with agents across a variety of IT disciplines.

For example, Open Spectrum focuses on data center, cloud, and hybrid hosting solutions. We bring strategic account engagement training, marketing collateral and our industry expertise to the table on-demand for all MicroCorp agents. Walking side by side with you, we help agents gain the confidence to open up broader business conversations, holistic application and work load resource discovery conversations, and different communication channels with existing and future client relationships. In short, we help agents make money selling complex data center, cloud and hybrid hosting solutions they otherwise wouldn’t be comfortable selling on their own.

What can partners expect?

In the Solutions Alliance, partners can expect to find a trusted and vetted network of established industry experts and consultants with niche expertise and experience across a variety of disciplines. As the Solutions Alliance grows, so will the capabilities you can offer your existing and future clients. With Open Spectrum, partners can access a global team of data center and cloud hosting consultants that have toured hundreds of data center properties, performed complex IT audits for companies of all shapes and sizes, and collectively negotiated thousands of colocation, cloud, and hybrid service contracts.

The IT buying landscape has evolved dramatically over the last few years. If you are relying on service providers to perform a truly agnostic open ended initial discovery and audit of actual needs, you are doing your clients a disservice. The agents who are thriving today have changed how they serve their customers and who within the organization they serve. They are also not afraid to bring to the table resources who are more equipped to provide specific knowledge and experience when needed.

Want to prepare for future sales?

Just as the decades of experience you have spent developing your core expertise in various Telecom, UCaaS, TEM, Call Center and/or related network technologies gives you a strategic advantage, so does the same deep experience give those in the Solutions Alliance a strategic advantage. The Solutions Alliance is thus not just a pool of contracted resources, but an insurance policy that will keep you educated and surrounded by the best contractors available.

The Solutions Alliance allows agents to uncover the gold mine of opportunities within existing relationships and accounts and future-proofs your business. I highly encourage you to contact MicroCorp today to learn more about this resource!

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.