HTG Peer Groups Blog
The HTG peer group experience is a unique forum for technology industry resellers who are serious about implementing a model for success in their own businesses through sharing and collaboration of best practices.
The Power of Community Takes Another Big Step
The event this week just verified to me that VTN is on the right course for the future. While I was sick for a portion of the event, the focus was right on and the messaging crisp. If VAR's want to survive in today's economy, we better learn how to sell. I would go further and say the VAR of the future actually is a sales company. The current mix of sales, marketing, technical expertise and operations is going to change drastically in the next 10 years. The need for technical resources will be significantly diminished by the move to the cloud. Operational and backend functions will be outsourced. Marketing will be handed off to experts who drive appointments. Our major role as VAR's will be to serve as a quarterback for our clients - we will be in the people business - guiding clients to the right combination of resources to help them get their work done. We will deliver very little of it ourselves beyond playing the role of strategic relationship management. Like it or not, it is coming and coming quickly. The things we have valued the last 20 years - deep technical expertise and solution selling - will quickly give way to business analysis and intelligence. We will become consultants in the true sense of the word.
Many in the channel haven't gotten that vision quite yet. But the announcement of John Fago as the new Senior Director in charge of VTN and other Ingram communities has just cemented the future of those communities for me. I have had the privilege of working with John for over 10 years in multiple roles. I knew from day one that he was a winner. He never says no, it is always lets see what makes sense. He is not confined to the normal inside the box thinking. He lives outside the box and steps inside often enough to keep things grounded. But most importantly he knows when to embrace change and help lead people there. In a few words, Fago gets it. The few times I have disagreed on strategy or a discussion with John over the last 1o years, by the time we were able to talk through it and work on it together there was always agreement that led to a better result. I have a hard time getting to that with my bride of 30 plus years. I have always been a Fago fan. I always will be. But my hats are off to the Ingram executive team for putting John in this role. You have sealed success for VTN with a stamp that will go far to further differentiate your place in the channel. Thank you for continuing to invest in your partners through VTN and other communities. HTG and myself personally, look forward to kicking some ____ as we take partnering, community and channel health to a whole new level in the next few years. The teams are in place. The time is now. Let's make it happen!
Arlin Sorensen serves as the CEO and Founder of the Heartland Companies which includes HTG Peer Groups. When he is not traveling to speak and consult, Arlin is home on his farm in Iowa with his wife Nancy. He is a proud “Pop” to four precocious grandchildren who serve as daily reminders of why he is intentionally living to leave a strong legacy of faith and integrity. He loves making a difference in the lives and companies of small to mid-market business owners. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @asorensen