Here's the last interview of 2010 with Tom Gorey, Vice President Channel Strategy & Development at XO Communications. Gorey is an active member of TCA. He and I have had a few chats this year about educating the Channel and its importance for the future of Agents and VAR's.
1. What is one change that you have noticed in the Channel thus far in 2010?
Gorey: Everyone's looking at the VAR channel, yet no one knows how to engage the VARs effectively (outside the few that have mature business practices in telecom).
2. The Channel Partners are experiencing the shift from TDM to all-IP. Do you think that the Channel learns better peer-to-peer or from carrier training?
Gorey: The channel learns best with quality training from technical experts. The key issue is peer to peer is too often the semi informed leading people that may or may not have the prerequisites to absorb accurate information. You can't become an expert if your teacher is not technically accurate. [True but some corporate trainers aren't subject matter experts either].
3. How do you foresee TCA's certification program affecting (if at all) the Channel?
Gorey: In general, I am a proponent of any programs that generally raise the ability of channel members to provide higher quality experiences to clients. This step can be a piece of that puzzle. But in order to be effective, it needs to have a program benefit to those that invest. Happy clients stay with their suppliers, and make great references.
The TCA has already announced that five independent agents have become certified. Congratulations to Ben Henkels of Communication Management Partners; Dave Wallace of Aligned Communications; Evan M. Gillman of Transit Broker; Yvonne Fry of Lines of Communication; and Jeff Sumner of Corporate Technologies Group.
Sadly, I am still trying to finish my book, so I have not taken the test yet. Soon I tell you. Soon. Happy New Year!