More often than not, giving back leads to bigger sales -- particularly in the social networking age where professional and personal lives are blended together in one big Facebook, Twitter and YouTube community.
Giving back is a central part of CRN parent Everything
Channel and its XChange conferences. At the recent XChange Solution Provider in Los Angeles March 7-11, the XChange community -- including vendor executives, solution providers and Everything
Channel employees -- teamed with 115 teachers, parents and students to provide a technology makeover to one of LA's neediest elementary schools, Dayton Heights.
The project, led by Microsoft as the chief underwriter with a big boost and equipment from AMD, Samsung, Juniper and Belkin, provided students at the school with six new computers and a printer in the school's library, a new computer in the teacher's workroom and a major overhaul of the computer lab. The makeover also featured mural painting by the volunteers with the help of Los Angeles-based artist Jennifer Langstrom.
It's no small matter that the solution providers who led the technology makeover, Bob Nitrio, CEO of Ranvest Associates, an Orangevale, Calif.-based technology consultant, and Jessica DeVita, owner of Uber Geek Girl, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based solution provider, hooked up via Twitter.
Another solution provider who really gets creating a socially conscious networking business is telecom solution power Allyance Communications and its charismatic CEO, Quy "Q" Nguyen.
Allyance, Irvine, Calif., is a case study in how to use social networking. The three tenets of the carrier-neutral solution provider's culture is making its clients look like rock stars with breakthrough solutions, having fun and giving back to the community in the form of children's charities. Among the charities the company contributes to are Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, The Tim Salmon Foundation, Talk About Curing Autism, Irvine Valley College Foundation, Hillview Acres Children's Home, Freedom Writers Foundation, Canyon Acres,
Camp Footprints, All Stars Helping Kids, OrangeWood Children's Foundation, YMCA and Junior Achievement.
The charity efforts have made Allyance a highly visible part of the LA community and are detailed on the personal Facebook page of Q and, of course Allyance's page. Allyance also does a great job on its Facebook page of high-fiving its customers' success stories as well. "Allyance would like to congratulate our client, Zappos.com, on wrapping up 2009, w/ nearly $1.2 billion in gross merchandise sales," reads one post.
It's no mistake that Q was recently asked to be a guest professor at Concordia University's MBA class. Listen up, kids -- there's a lot to learn from Q and Allyance.