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Then, when Parella saw that technicians were jumping ship after getting their certifications, he knew he had to stop "training the competition," as he puts it. That's when he set aside $1 million for one year, approached Global Knowledge Training and said the money was theirs for the taking. That deal brought down the cost of training dramatically--from $5,000 per course to about $1,200.
But Parella knew he still had to do more. So he created a two-part program for techies. First, a bonus of $750 to $1,000 awaited each course graduate. Then, "after a year of putting all that new wisdom into practice, the technician gets $2,500 to $5,000 as a retention bonus," Parella says, adding that Shared's voluntary turnover rate is at an all-time low these days. For the year to date, turnover at the VAR is less than 5 percent, one-third the national average, according to Parella. "The cost of losing service and support people is astronomical," he says.
|Shared Technologies Tony Parella: "The cost of losing service and support people is astronomical."|
The exec puts a premium on keeping his people happy. In 2006, Shared made the top 60 list of the "Best Companies to Work for in Texas," and he's shooting for a spot on the much-coveted Fortune Top 100.
Shared is growing its linecard, too, dedicating more of its product portfolio to converged IP solutions than ever before. Today the Coppell, Texas-based VAR offers telecom solutions from Nortel, NEC, Mitel and Tandberg, and the company recently signed on as a Microsoft distributor.
Parella takes pride in Shared's service profile, saying the company covers 41 markets across the United States, receives sky-high satisfaction scores on customer surveys, seamlessly blends organic growth with acquisitions and is on target to ratchet up its revenue by more than 50 percent from 2006 to 2007--from $231 million to $350 million.
So give the 113 VARBusiness 500 newcomers a hearty welcome; chances are they're only going up from here. They're an irrepressible bunch--driven, innovative and diligent. Best of all, their stories reiterate for up-and-coming channel players a message career and business coaches have been spreading far and wide: Do what you love and the money will follow.
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