One of the hallmarks of a Channel Company conference is that it provides a unique opportunity for vendors and IT professionals to network and brainstorm in one central location. From innovative speaker presentations, vendor product demonstrations, and peer interaction, there is much for the IT field representative to gain.
The Tektonic team recently had the privilege of attending the Channel Company XChange Conference 2017 which was hosted in Orlando, Florida. The conference provided many exciting insights.
The singular thread that ran through the entire event was:
To truly succeed and progress in the IT world, partnerships and teamwork are critical.
This simple principle resounded powerfully with the Tektonic Inc team.
Here are some things our staff took away from this most important IT conference.
We were particularly impressed with keynote speaker, Don Yeager. Mr. Yeager is renowned internationally as a best-selling author and former associate editor of Sports Illustrated magazine. Mr. Yeager referenced a section from his book, Teammate, which perfectly illuminates the importance of collaborative effort.
In his story, Mr. Yeager spoke of a catcher on a baseball team who was seeming of little consequence to the team as a whole. He was not a great catcher. In fact, he did not secure a regular place in the lineup. He was merely a backup to be called upon when all else failed. Yet in time, this third string ball player grew from being an invaluable team member to the most revered player on the team. Though initially a very selfish person on the ball field, this catcher began to see the value of working in conjunction with his teammates to achieve a greater goal. This one shift in thinking was revolutionary not only for his career but also for his team and their future together.
In applying the lesson of this story to the IT field, it is not a large leap to realize that to truly advance there should not be two separate teams—those who sell, and those who “do.” When vendors and IT professionals work in harmonious connection with one another, both teams can thrive.
Another pearl of wisdom we took away from the conference is the importance of choosing to foster solid relationships with vendors. The conference sessions highlighted some excellent technology vendors that participants were encouraged to consider. In particular, Datto has been lauded as the best in business continuity with Sophos taking the top prize for security services.
The emphasis that Exchange Conference put on these two solutions only confirmed for our team the wise decision we made years ago to partner with Datto and Sophos. We sure know how to pick our technology vendors! Both Datto and Sophos have been excellent partners for us over the years, and have helped us deliver outstanding service to our valued clients.
One of the most powerful lessons we walked away with was seeing companies who are competitors working together to find solutions to their respective IT challenges. The freedom with which IT competitors shared their best ideas was overwhelming. Peer referrals strengthened and improved existing IT relationships in the short amount of time spent together.
We found it very refreshing to be encouraged to view our peers as friends as opposed to competition to be feared. Learning is at its finest when people not only learn from the expert panel but also from each other. Having worked many of the same issues, peers have as much to offer as the leaders in innovation. At Channel Company XChange 2017, this concept was ever present. This hands-on help crossed country borders with Canadians helping Americans and vice versa. Such open cooperation and goodwill were inspiring to see in action.
During the conference, we had the opportunity to assist a colleague based in New York City. Though a Canadian based company, we had the connections to be able to help, and it only took five minutes to come up with the solution. It was exciting to lend a helping hand to a new friend.
One of the highlights of this conference for us was time spent with CEO, Stuart Crawford of the promising company Ulistic. Mr. Crawford is a team leader with the total dedication to seeing his clients succeed. His commitment to excellence and attention to detail is what helps to propel IT businesses forward.
His company, Ulistic, is a most worthy partner to assist with all content and design for managed IT service providers. Working with Ulistic is like working with a trusted friend. Their top tier staff treats your business as though it were their own. This is managed services marketing at its finest.
But perhaps the most impressive thing about Mr. Crawford is the lengths he goes to in making his clients feel valued. Mr. Crawford had just returned from vacation yet still made the extra effort to meet with us at this event. This meant a significant time crunch for him but left a lasting positive impression on the Tektonic team as a whole. We are more pleased than ever to have Ulistic as the leader of our IT marketing department.
It was wonderful to see leaders in the IT field recognized for their achievements. As proof positive of the importance of teamwork and building solid relationships, IT guru and longtime expert, Franki Vitagliano was honored with a lifetime achievement award. What a privilege to meet such an inspiring man who epitomizes the theme of the day—working cooperatively as the pathway to success.
We truly are stronger together. The Channel Company XChange Conference 2017 drove this point home. We look forward to building even deeper relationships and strengthening our partners and teammates in the days to come.