Channel Partner event – be efficient, learn and communicate

February 14, 2020

I wrote my intentions for 2020 down on the first day back at work. Be efficient, learn and communicate – it was all a bit fluffy, even by my own admittance.

Two days in and I was packing a bag for a working week in Orlando, Florida. “When are you going on your holiday” everyone would ask, and I would bite. Inside I’m thinking… work hard at school kids, get a good job, be good at it and you too could be packing your sun cream with your laptop. After a few weeks’ family time over Christmas, new year is the perfect time to go on a business trip, soak up some Vitamin D between meetings, and escape the cold, dark mornings. Yet I felt the need to play it down. If anything, family and colleagues should feel sorry for me – I had to put my Dry-Veganuary on hold.

One of ASM’s strategic vendors LogMeIn (now rebranded to ‘GoTo’) had invited us to their 3-day global Sales Kick Off event at Universal Studios. The theme was Be the Catalyst”. They were embracing Channel Partners in a big way, letting us into their world and treating us like their own.

It’s not easy for a vendor to navigate a multifaceted $Billion business towards the channel. Not least because THE CHANNEL, is not one thing, it is many channels. Traditional channels and shadow channels want differing things from a vendor partner. The old Telecoms channel that is morphing into the UCC (Unified Communications and Collaboration) channel, behaves differently from the CySec (Cyber Security) specialist channel, which differs again from the new emerging/disruptive tech channels pushing the likes of A.I (Artificial Intelligence) and RPA (Robotic Process Automation). It’s horses for courses as the old British proverb goes.

LogMeIn have solutions that fit into each of these channels and more besides. Could “Be the Catalyst” as a theme, be relevant to their direct sales teams AND their channel partners, or is it as fluffy as my own new year’s resolutions? I was just glad not to hear anything like the launch of a Platinum-Gold-Silver Partner Program. Even A.I can surely come up with something more 2020 than that.

Whilst meeting and socialising with the LogMeIners, there was a great sense of team, yet the talks and awards seemed more focused on individual performance. CEO Bill Wagner summed this up quoting the weekends NFL play-off debutant Deshaun Watson saying, “Somebody had to be great – why not me?” Right on theme with being a catalyst. I love a sporting analogy and with that quote, I was ready to be motivated.

COO Marc Van Zadelhoffs catalyst story kept the motivation high with the type of energy and enthusiasm you get at a Microsoft or Apple product launch, living up to his very credible pedigree.

The US high fiving and whooping culture was perfectly counter balanced by the quintessential charm of SVP Worldwide Sales Chris Manton-Jones. LogMeIn’s very own Mr Darcy.

Enter another outsider, Lisa Bodell. She reset my new year’s resolutions within 10 minutes, and those of probably all 1200 people in the room. 1. Ask Killer Questions. 2. Kill a Stupid Rule. 3. Be Chief Simplifier. Then she told us just to try just 1 of these things. She is my kind of influencer.

Evidence of success and future growth was aplenty. The Channel message was effectively ratified with proof of higher AOV’s (Average Order Values) and greater chance of upsell/cross sell when partnering with the channel. They didn’t use the word “stickiness”, but I think it fits well here.

Next up, the channel partners from across the globe were given a glimpse of things to come. It was a soft launch gently easing us into their more cohesive new focus, rather than a grand “ta-da” moment. An immaculate big bang theory of channels colliding to form a new world would’ve been a tough sell. The refreshing theme of the success stories were people and relationship centric rather than too product or channel program heavy. Some role playing was threatened by thankfully avoided.

And so, to beer and cocktails by the pool. Not on the formal agenda, but a welcome choice of location for a breakout meeting with EMEA Channel Sales Director Gerald Byrne and some of his team.  I say meeting, but when I was proper belly laughing to the point of tears, it was easy to forget to take minutes!

Universal Studios City Boardwalk and Harry Potter World were exclusively ours for that evening. I say “ours” because I was feeling very much a part of the LogMeIn family by that time.

The second full day of proceedings dived deeper into the varying parts of their business, yet the focus remained deliberately, and refreshingly, on case studies and success stories. Prestigious customers were there to champion the products and the process of engagement. The channel message remained strong.

The final evening was an awards ceremony. After celebrating with the winners and some great conversation, I did the classic escape trip on route to the bar. This time I was not the last man standing – how very sensible of me.

In summary this was an excellently organised event. LogMeIn are an established successful company, who are evolving and innovating. The overriding take-away was that this is a “people” driven business where relationships with customers and partners, and colleagues are key to its success. They communicated their message well and are keen to learn about how the channel can make them more efficient. Perfectly on theme with my own and ASM’s intentions for this year. Well done and thanks to the LogMeIn team.

Stephen Dale

Account Director – Systems Integrators – [email protected]

News, Insights & Knowledge

What’s New?

Here’s a selection of the latest news, views and insights from industry leaders and experts from across the globe.

Blog

International Men’s Day 2023

At ASM we’re recognising International Men’s Day by celebrating the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities, highlighting our positive role models whilst also raising awareness of men’s well-being.

This year’s theme is Zero Male Suicide as men are three times more likely than women to die by suicide. We can all help address this crisis by encouraging men to reach out for support with their mental health.

We invited all colleagues to a fantastic webinar with ANDYSMANCLUB. ANDYSMANCLUB are a men’s suicide prevention charity, offering free-to-attend peer-to-peer support groups in person and online. Their purpose is to end the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and help men through the power of conversation.

By encouraging the power of conversation, be it a quick chat, a more formal check-in, or a shared story, together we can make a difference.

internationalmensday.com
andysmanclub.co.uk

Sustainability

Tree planting in Malawi

At ASM we are continuing to build a growing, profitable and responsible company that does the right thing for our stakeholders and future generations.

We recognise that decarbonising our complex value chain will be a journey and we are committed to offset 100% of our footprint making us net carbon neutral through a number of projects.

We have planted 10 trees per colleague through Ripple Africa, a charity supporting communities to achieve a sustainable future.

Their tree planting project is one of the largest and most successful tree planting projects in Malawi, providing a long-term solution to fighting deforestation in Africa caused by the destruction of indigenous forest. For every 10 trees they plant one tonne of carbon is absorbed from the atmosphere.

Sustainability, Volunteering

Volunteering with the Scouts

At ASM we’re committed to supporting our community and all our colleagues can take a day out of the business to volunteer for charities or community organisations.

Our Finance team have recently been busy supporting a local Scout group. The store room had become so full of equipment that it was no longer organised or safe to continue their Beaver Scout and Cub Scout sessions. Our team of volunteers took an inventory of the equipment, cleaned items where needed and organised the space.

Organising the space has allowed a clearer view for the leaders to plan fun sessions that provide skills for life.

Blog

Vuzix Sales Enablement Session

We were thrilled to host our partner, Vuzix for our November Sales Enablement session at our HQ. Thanks to Jonathan Nelson, Strategic Sales Manager at Vuzix for the engaging and enjoyable session.

Vuzix connects the modern deskless workforce with Assisted and Augmented Reality (aR and AR) wearable technology, providing high-performance smart glasses that enable see-what-I-see remote guidance, teleconferencing, IOT visualisation and digital work instructions.

Adele Hope-Urwin, Head of Vendor Alliances said:

“I am thrilled to have secured our partnership with Vuzix and to add their assisted reality products to our vendor portfolio. As our newest vendor partnership, I’m excited to host Vuzix at our Cheshire HQ for an engaging training session with our sales team”.

Jonathan Nelson, Strategic Sales Manager at Vuzix said:

“We’re really excited to add ASM as a value added partner and are looking forward to sharing our skills and knowledge to continue to innovate and offer an exceptional customer experience to our customers”.

Blog

Something spooky at ASM

There’s been some frightening goings on in the office today with all our teams getting involved. 

We held competitions throughout the day with some fantastic entries. Laura Helsby won for her fantastically fiendish cupcakes, Becci Darby created the best pumpkin of the day and Jasmine Elliott spooked the office the most with their fancy dress.

Sustainability

ASM HQ built with sustainability at the forefront

The ASM Group are committed to ensuring ongoing consideration to the environment in all aspects of our operations and this began in 2005, when we were one of the first companies in the industry to complete the IS014001 accreditation, long before the environmental impact of business operations was widely understood by organisations.

We installed an array of solar panels on the roof of the building which power around half of our daily electricity usage and have generated over 43 MW of energy. We also removed the use of electric kettles and instead opted for Quooker taps which are significantly more energy and water efficient.

We continued our ongoing pledge to sustainability by installing electric car charging points to promote the use of electric and hybrid vehicles, in addition to reducing the amount of printers around the building and adopting a paperless office. Numerous trees were planted around the site to create a greener space for our team to enjoy whilst also considering the environmental benefits. To further improve our energy efficiency, we opted for energy saving, motion detection indoor lighting which dim based on the brightness outside, coupled with energy saving LED lights in the carpark.

We’re proud of the collaborative and sustainable environment we’ve created for our team which supports the ESG goals across the ASM Group for the future.

Blog

International Women’s Day 2023

Technology has typically been a male dominated sector but at ASM we’re very proud to say 66% of our workforce is female.

Today we’ve been celebrating all of our fantastic team with some sweets treats while raising awareness about discrimination.

The aim of the IWD 2023 #EmbraceEquity campaign theme is to get the world talking about Why equal opportunities aren’t enough. People start from different places, so true inclusion and belonging require equitable action. Read more about this here.

Blog

Top Emerging Technologies for 2022

We talk about Emerging Technology a lot, whether that be on our podcast, ASM Connected or in our day to day work with our customers. During a keynote speech at ASM Connect, Futurist Matt Griffin argued that those who think we’re not living in sci-fi times are wrong, so we decided to explore some of the key emerging tech trends we’ve seen throughout 2022.

Conversations around the newest generation of wireless technology, 5G are happening more frequently as more industries adopt and see benefits. In ASM Connected episode 9, Inma Martinez, Digital Pioneer and AI Scientist shares that anyone offering digital products and services are going to be part of the new telecom industry with technologies such as 5G, Edge and Cloud Computing making up the technology of the new century. 5G differs from 4G and 3G because the benefits go far beyond connecting to a smartphone, and play a vital part in the digital ecosystem of the future.

Want to work from anywhere? With the rise of Virtual Reality (VR), more and more people are successfully thriving in this new digital world. At ASM Connect, Futurist Matt Griffin spoke about the notion of ‘Working from Anywhere’ and how this also extends to working within VR, and not just working away from the traditional office. It seems that everyone is talking about the metaverse and how the internet as we know it will look completely different in the future. Futurist Amelia Kallman in episode 5 of ASM Connected gave us some great insights on what we can expect, such as how it will be a decentralised network of immersive spaces that connect to create one universe. Amelia shared that one of the practical challenges will involve uniting the many spaces which currently exist as a multiverse, such as Fortnite, Roblox and Minecraft, and making them interoperable so users can move from one space to another, like we do with the Internet. There is lots to look forward to with this technology, and who knows, perhaps one day, you’ll be listening to ASM Connected in the metaverse!

Moving onto Synthetic Data, which tends to be most commonly used in the financial services and healthcare industries, is information that’s artificially and algorithmically manufactured and stands in for real life data where there are constraints around using sensitive or regulated information. In series 3, episode 4 of ASM Connected, Simon Godfrey shares insights about the opportunities for public sector organisations to leverage Synthetic Data and Digital Twins to drive better outcomes.

Augmented Reality (AR) is an emerging tech trend that gained popularity during the pandemic when businesses were forced to work remotely. Richard Price spoke about a study conducted in the healthcare sector about patients attitudes to clinicians wearing AR goggles such as Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens. They found that when clinicians were wearing headsets such as Google Glass, patients weren’t as opposed to them because they were smaller and more discreet, whereas when clinicians wore headsets such as the Microsoft HoloLens patients felt it created a barrier between them and the doctor.

Deepfake technology is frightfully gaining significant traction around the world. This technology leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence to manipulate audio and visual content to replicate someone else’s appearance. Deepfakes can be unbelievably realistic so exercising caution and discretion is paramount. In episode 5 of ASM Connected, series 3, we spoke to Öykü Işık, Professor of Digital Strategy and Cybersecurity at IMD Business School, who shared insights about FakeCatcher, the world’s first real-time deepfake detector, launched by Intel, which detects fake videos with 96% accuracy by looking for clues of what makes someone human, which is subtle blood flow captured in the pixels of a video.

Assisted Reality (aR) is often confused with Augmented Reality (AR) however aR is a reality first, digital second experience. Our partner, RealWear is the world’s leading provider of Assisted Reality wearable devices which connect the modern frontline worker to all the information they need, when they need it. Workers are able to utilise the aR technology to leverage the hands-free verification and visual documentation they need to fulfil their role and don’t risk the same safety concerns linked to bulky hand held equipment.

Finally, Natural Language Processing (NLP). When choosing technology, you should always consider how it helps people to work more efficiently. Our partner, Primer AI are an industry leader in NLP technologies and work with government agencies, financial institutions and more to automate text-based workflows at scale with human level quality. In episode 15 of ASM Connected, Primer AI’s Geoffrey Nicholls MBE and Nick Melgaard spoke about the practical benefits NLP technology can deliver to the defence sector and beyond. Primer AI are experts in addressing some of the National Security use cases such as identifying disinformation campaigns, monitoring global events in real time and responding to cybersecurity attacks.

We’ve really enjoyed working with so many emerging technologies throughout 2022 as well as discovering from our podcast guests about what else we can expect to see in the future. The emerging tech landscape is continuing to grow, but the question is, are you prepared?

Blog, Charity

Christmas Jumper Day 2022

The ASM team celebrated Christmas Jumper Day on Thursday 8 December to raise money for Save The Children.

Save the Children is a UK charity for children that works in over 100 countries to make sure children are fed, learning and treated fairly.

We hosted a Christmas Jumper competition where the team came to work wearing their best Christmas Jumper, which was judged by some of the children and teachers from Rudheath Primary Academy. ASM also donated selection boxes to the school as a thank you.

The winners of the wackiest Christmas Jumper competition were Chloe Bentley from the Customer Services team in first place, Ruta Porwoll from the European Sales team was the runner up, and Mark Buckley from the Sales team took home third place.