Scenes From 2010 Catalyst Telecom Partner Conference

Surf's Up

Scansource’s Catalyst Telecom group recently held its 2010 Partner Conference in Myrtle Beach, where more than 200 VARs and dozens of vendors gathered to network. Here’s a few scenes from the show.

Sharing Avaya's Vision

Todd Abbott, Avaya’s senior vice president of global sales and marketing and president of field operations, told the crowd that they can once again feel comfortable making investments in the company without worrying about more upheaval. We need to get the noise out and give you a clear line of sight where to invest. There are no more changes,’ Abbott said during the conference.

Avaya SI/SP Business Partner of the Year: AT&T

Catalyst Telecom’s vice president of sales, John Gaillard (left), and president John Black (right), present the Avaya SI/SP Business Partner of the Year award to AT&T. ’We’ve had a really long term relationship, over 12 years, which started with SBC,’ Black said.

Avaya Regional Business Partner Award: Cross Telecom

Gaillard and Black also presented a Regional Business Partner of the Year award to Cross Telecom, Bloomington, Minn.

’They are our largest federal VAR and are aggressively moving toward the Nortel product line,’ said Black.

Avaya Regional Business Partner Award: TSG

Technology Solutions Group, an Aurora, Ill.-based VAR, also captured a regional business partner award from Gaillard and Black. TSG grew 60 percent last year through Catalyst Telecom and was the distributor’s second largest education VAR, Black said.

Avaya Regional Business Partner Award: SPS

SPS, a Parsippany, N.J.-based solution provider, took home the last regional business partner award. ’They are our number two federal and health care partner across Catalyst and they also buy significant data products,’ said Black.

Avaya Global Services Business Partner of the Year: DJJ Technologies

DJJ Technologies, Islandia, N.Y., captured Catalyst’s services partner of the year award by producing more than $4 million in maintenance contracts in a 12-month period. ’They’re hunters,’ said Black.

Avaya Enterprise Business Partner of the Year: NACR

North American Communications Resource (NACR), based in Eagan, Minn., captured the Avaya Enterprise Business Partner award by growing its enterprise business 27 percent, said Catalyst’s Black. ’They’re a brand new powerhouse and our largest SLED and health care VAR across all Catalyst,’ Black told the audience.

Bluesocket Business Partner of the Year: CDW

CDW, Vernon Hills, Ill., won Bluesocket’s business partner award at Catalyst’s 2010 partner conference, capping off the awards presentation.

Get Connected

Avaya constructed a wall where attendees could attach their name and then visually illustrate how they were connected to other solution providers in attendance.

Technology Showcase

Tracey Boucher (left), ScanSource Communications’ director of merchandising, speaks with a solution provider about Polycom’s open collaboration network during the conference’s technology showcase.

Making The Most of Social Media

In a popular session, ScanSource’s Bobby McLain shared his vision of how social media can help businesses be more successful. The distributor surveyed more than 300 VARs to find that more than 80 percent do not have a social media strategy.

’Thirty-five percent of marketing content will be customer created by 2011,’ McLain said. ’The type of marketing you have will have an effect on how people perceive your company. People don’t believe you, they do believe people that talk about you online.’

Juniper's View

Blaine Raddon, vice president of Americas, general business and channel sales, at Juniper Networks, told solution providers that a legacy approach to networking is not sustainable for the future.

’The network that exists today that our big competitor is so happy about being a 70 percent player in isn’t the network to take them into the future,’ Raddon said. ’We’re looking at an end- to-end connection, an everything- to-everybody connection with an open standard approach that allows your competitors and alliance partners to participate. Whenever that fundamental change occurs, it’s going to open opportunities for more nimble, innovative companies to play a much bigger role.’

Convergence Readiness

Jim Sevier, president and CEO of Convergence Readiness, shared ideas on how to grow and evolve their business with solution providers.

’You have to be extremely good to deliver applications to customers. End of story. You need to lead with unified communications. Period. What you need to sell is what UC does for business. You have to look for ways to improve transactional costs with customers,’ Sevier said.

Grand Prize

John Gaillard, Catalyst Telecom’s vice president of sales, details the distributor’s new contest which includes a grand prize trip to Costa Rica.

Next Year, Savannah

Catalyst Telecom president John Black announces that next year’s partner conference will be held in Savannah, Ga. Black also told solution providers to embrace all the curves thrown at them the last 18 months.

’The truth of the matter is curves are opportunities. Curves are where race car drivers pass each other. Share is available to everyone in this room, but you have to out-execute the competition,’ he said.