Going deeper with partners at XChange Solution Provider 2017
We’re fresh off of an incredibly packed three days in National Harbor, MD at The Channel Company’s XChange Solution Provider event. We had two big goals behind our attendance – to learn and listen to the needs of the channel first hand and to spread the word about all the things Intermedia is doing to help partners to drive profitability and differentiate their businesses. It was an amazing experience connecting with partners at the booth and boardroom breakout sessions and speaking with press – we were even voted by the attendees as having the best keynote presentation!
Intermedia’s SVP of Product Management, Irina Shamkova, captured the attention of an entire room with a single question – “Show of hands. Who resells Office 365?”
Plus, we partnered with Food For All D.C to help provide food to low-income residents. During this community outreach project, we were able to visit over 50 homes in need while learning a great deal about the growing epidemic of hunger in the D.C. area.
Event recap Q&A with Eric Martorano
I sat down with Eric Martorano, our SVP of Worldwide Sales, to get his thoughts on how the show went, and to discuss why Intermedia is making a significant investment in attending channel events such as this one.
Was there a common thread that you observed in the attending partners at XChange?
“One thing continues to be clear with this evolution the industry is going through – partners are looking for opportunities to drive profitability. They are looking for increased ways to make money, differentiate, and add value for their customers. We’ve made big investments in tools and resources that enable partners can do just that, and now we’re out spreading the word.”
Will Intermedia’s focus on attending events continue?
“This is our first year at XChange, but it won’t be our last. We’re attending about 40 events in total this year, when last year we were at about four. Our senior leadership understands how critical events are to our growth goals, and they have empowered us to make these investments. The commitment from our CEO, Michael Gold, and our new private equity firm, Madison Dearborn Partners, has been phenomenal.
We want to learn and keep growing as a company. To do that, we have to be out there on the front lines getting feedback from our partners so we can go back and do things a bit better. Intermedia is of the size where this feedback can have a direct impact on our company strategy. Our influencers and decision makers leading the direction of the company are attending these events with the intention of taking action on the feedback we receive immediately.”
What message do you have for partners that may not have attended this event?
“Intermedia is investing multiple millions of dollars into sales, marketing, support, and headcount this year so we can get out there and better co-sell and co-market with our partner base. Our intention is to build up, engage with, and invest in our partners to help guide their success.”
You talked about increasing profitability and differentiation. Can you briefly speak to how Intermedia is helping partners with this?
“Intermedia adds incremental profitability and value through an integrated and broad suite of services. For example, the margins around reselling Office 365 alone are shrinking. By adding proprietary services on top such as SecuriSync all-in-one file management, email security or Cloud Voice. The ability to sell these services under a private-label model is another huge differentiator.”
What’s the biggest challenge Intermedia faces right now?
“Our partners will often look at Intermedia as a voice company or a data company – one or the other. It’s both our opportunity and challenge to communicate to them everything that we do. It’s also understandable that for a new partner, it could be a little overwhelming. That’s the great thing about Intermedia. Partners can start having conversations with us around the areas of their business where they are positioned today, and expand as they feel more comfortable. It’s our job to support them through their digital transformation. That’s why we are super flexible in the way that you can partner with us. Every partner situation is unique.”
If there’s one thing you want partners to take away from all this, what would it be?
“I want to go deeper with our partners. I want more time. These deeper relationships can’t be built with one call every month. We want partners to be more invested in building a business with us, and events like XChange are one of the many ways that we’ll achieve this face time.”